Poor English downs projects

November 24, 2011

Finds planning ministry report on implementation of donor-funded schemes
Guess what slows down the implementation of donor-funded projects in Bangladesh?
Lack of money? No.
It is the officials’ poor skill in communicating in English with foreign donors.
This weakness has been identified in a report by the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the planning ministry.
The report was placed yesterday at a meeting of the project directors of different ministries and divisions with Planning Minister AK Khandker.
IMED secretary Mozammel Haque Khan told reporters it is an “an old fact” that many of our officials cannot properly communicate in English possibly due to lack of practice.
In the last fiscal year (FY) foreign aid utilisation had been very low, the meeting was told. The trend has continued in the current fiscal year.
In the first four months of the current FY only Tk 1,250 crore or 7 percent of the total allocation has been used.
During the same period in the last FY the expenditure stood at Tk 1,364 crore or 9 percent of the allocation. In the same period of the previous year (FY2009-10) the utilisation was Tk 2,018 crore or 16 percent of the money available.
The rate of utilisation of the foreign money has been steadily declining in the past three years.
The IMED also cited complexities in land acquisition and the tender process and delays in getting donors’ approval as some of other reasons why project implementation gets delayed.
In the first four months of the current FY the total ADP implementation is Tk 6760 crore or 15 percent of the allocation. In the same period of the last FY it was 14 percent of the allocation.

-With The Daily Star input

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