The Jatiya Sangsad (JS) standing committee on the planning ministry has expressed its dissatisfaction over poor monitoring by the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) under the ministry.
It was found from minutes of the last meeting that the government undertook 1,458 projects in the FY 2015-16 of which only 705 were monitored. This was less than 50 per cent. The IMED submitted the report at the 27th meeting held on September 26.
A total of 53 ministry/ departments have been implementing these projects. Only 39 ministries/ departments informed the IMED about the various steps taken for improvement of the project implementation as per its recommendations. The monitoring cell is yet to receive reports on the rest 14 projects.
Chairman of the committee Abul Kalam Azad said the IMED is responsible for monitoring projects at field level. It has submitted a working paper on the project progress but the paper did not mention percentage of implementation of their recommendations.
"The IMED working paper has said nothing but 'is going on' or 'will be done'. The projects are changed frequently and time is extended," he said.
"There is no complete report on any of the 705 projects while it is absolutely a half-hearted report," said the chairman.
Citing example of the Bakhrabad-Siddhirganj Gas Transmission Pipeline' project, Mr Abul Kalam Azad said the duration is from July 2007 till December 2018. The recommendation was to complete the project in time. But nothing was mentioned in the about the latest situation of the project.
Committee member Shamsul Haque Chowdhury said it is necessary to know the project progress and its timely implementation and what action the planning ministry has taken against those ministries and departments which fail.
He also pointed out that it could also not be known whether the officials engaged for monitoring are competent or not.
He suggested supervision by the standing committee. The planning ministry should be given the authority to make the concerned ministry accountable to it as the projects are approved by the planning ministry, he added.
Another member Mubibur Rahman Manik said various irregularities were found in the KPM project under the industry and power sector.
IMED secretary Farid Uddin Chowdhury explained that there is a project evaluation committee against every project where IMED representatives are also included. The IMED monitors the projects every three months and submits the progress reports. The director generals of IMED have been engaged for monitoring and the projects selected by the prime minister are given priority.
Referring to the annual project agreement (APA), the committee was informed that of the total 705 monitored projects undertaken in FY 2015-16, nine ministries have been implementing 200 projects under industry and power sectors, three ministries are executing 115 projects under communication and local government sectors, 38 ministries are implementing 230 projects under culture and social sectors and 10 ministries executing 160 projects under agriculture, rural development and research sectors.
In the 28th meeting held Tuesday, the progress of various projects undertaken by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and the Informatics Division since 2014 and before was discussed.
The BBS said that the statistics and informatics division (SID) undertook 10 projects since 2014. In the FY 2016-17, over Tk 2.87 billion was allocated in the annual development programme (ADP).