It is surprising that a large number of projects, 62 to be exact, in this year’s annual development programme (ADP), should be given only a token allocation of Tk 1 lakh each from the government. Apparently, this has been done only to keep the projects alive. Whereas the number of projects that got symbolic allocations were 26 in 2017, in the current fiscal year the number rose to 62. While Bangladesh’s spending on development projects has increased significantly—the government has allocated Tk 2 lakh crore for 1,358 projects this year—there have been allegations that the money has not been spent wisely.
A case in point is the Tk 122.57 crore project that has been undertaken for widening a highway from Langalbandh to Minarbari in Narayanganj. Unfortunately, for implementing the project, only Tk 1 lakh has been allocated. The question is, what does the government expect the project to achieve with this meagre amount of money? Inadequate allocation for an important project such as this has only been causing delay in implementation, which would affect the people in the end.
Reportedly, 90 percent of the ADP projects have been undertaken years ago with extensions provided to them to meet the deadlines. There are also allegations that many of the projects have been included in the ADP on political consideration. The government should seriously look into the issue and stop taking up projects indiscriminately without giving consideration to their importance or deadline. Allocating only one lakh taka for each of the 62 projects means that Tk 62 lakh of public money has actually been wasted, which is not acceptable at all. We would like to see efficient planning from the government while taking up various development projects and also hope that there will be transparency and accountability in carrying out the projects. After all, it is the public who suffer and their money which is being wasted.