Bangladesh and Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday agreed to undertake ‘special actions’ in order to expedite the implementation of ADB-assisted projects in this country for promoting faster economic recovery and greater job creation.
The special actions for enhancing project performances include accelerating approval and paying mobilisation advance for large contracts, implementing health safety guidelines, and offering virtual training opportunities to the project staff and beneficiaries, reports UNB citing a release.
The decision was taken at a tripartite portfolio review meeting (TPRM) co-chaired by Fatima Yasmin, Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Manmohan Parkash, the Country Director of ADB. Around 300 senior government officials and project directors, and ADB staff participated in the second such review meeting this year.
ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash said that project implementation is the key to expediting the post-pandemic socio-economic recovery by delivering enhanced development benefits to the people early and quickly.
“As the economy shows early signs of recovery, concerted efforts and special measures by line ministries and the project executing agencies can help speed up the economic recovery and job creation,” he said.
Explaining the measures needed to further improve project implementation, Parkash said, “Expeditious procurement, engaging good consultants and contractors, effective contract management, proper management of land acquisition and resettlement, sound financial management, prudent project design, and speedy DPP/TPP approval/revision can help achieve better project outcomes.”
“Today, we have agreed to implement special actions to ensure faster delivery of project results by maintaining the highest standards of health and safety protocols to avoid Covid-19 risks in project implementation,” he added.
ADB’s current portfolio has 52 projects with around USD 11 billion under its sovereign portfolio. ADB focuses its cooperation in Bangladesh in six sectors — energy; transport; water and urban/municipal infrastructure and services; education; finance; and agriculture, natural resources, and rural development.
ADB’s cumulative lending to Bangladesh stands at an estimated USD 36.6 billion in loans and grants, including co-financing.