Move to speed up ADP
An inter-ministerial committee has recommended giving the planning minister the authority to approve projects of up to Tk 40 crore instead of Tk 25 crore to speed up implementation of Annual Development Programme (ADP).
In a draft policy, the committee has suggested that the minister should have the power to grant revised budget for a project if the cost is limited to a maximum of Tk 40 crore, which is now Tk 25 crore.
This will help the ministries dealing with projects of up to Tk 40 crore avoid the lengthy procedures for getting approval from the Executive Committee on National Economic Council (Ecnec).
But the ministries will have to take the Ecnec's approval for any project above Tk 40 crore.
The committee headed by the Planning Division secretary prepared the draft policy to make procedures for project approval much easier. The new policy -- subject to the prime minister's approval -- may take effect from July, a planning ministry official said preferring anonymity.
The ministries will also enjoy more financial authority. For instance, a minister will be able to approve his ministry's project expenditure revised upward or downward by 15 percent, instead of 10 percent, in the first revision.
In case of second revision, a minister can approve a cost hike in a project by 25 percent, instead of 20 percent.
According to the draft policy, a ministry can approve a survey or study of a project involving up to Tk 5 crore, which is now Tk 2 crore.
Besides, the finance and planning ministries have outlined a specific timeframe for project implementation for all ministries.
The government earlier decided to make feasibility study mandatory by June 2012 for technically complicated projects that involve more than Tk 500 crore.
The decision came at an inter-ministerial meeting in March with the finance secretary in the chair.
The official said the ADP taken by the government is revised downward at the end of the year and ministries fail to implement the revised ADP. It has compelled the government to amend the draft policy on project formulation and revision.
The draft policy suggested that a ministry will not need to send a project proposal with requirement for manpower to the Finance Division for consent before forwarding it to the Planning Commission. It should directly get the proposal approved by the Planning Commission.
According to the draft policy, information on land value should be collected from sub-registrar's office, not deputy commissioner's office, for using it in project proposal since many ministries have identified improper valuation of land and complication in land acquisition as a major impediment to project implementation.
The government has taken a number of reform programmes to check corruption and prevent misuse of funds.
Central Procurement Technical Unit of the planning ministry will review procurement plans of 10 ministries from the next fiscal year.
Twenty ministries will be brought under the review after June 2012.