Last ECNEC meeting likely to endorse 25 projects tomorrow

'Most are taken sans any study'

FE Report | Published: November 03, 2018 14:04:41 | Updated: November 04, 2018 21:40:37

The government is likely to approve nearly 25 development projects on 'political consideration' tomorrow (Sunday). Of these, some nine projects of one public agency will be tabled for endorsement, officials said on Friday.

The nine projects regarding rural road and bridge construction of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) will be placed before Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting.

The ECNEC meeting is likely to be the last one during the present Awami League-led government's tenure.

ECNEC endorsed 24 development projects on Tuesday, many of which were also politically motivated, they added.

"Since the present government's tenure has come to an end, it is aggressively approving projects on political consideration. But their implementation will suffer setback due to lack of adequate fund allocation in time," said a member of Planning Commission (PC).

"We have been forced to approve projects without proper scrutiny and feasibility study following pressure from political bigwigs," he added, requesting for anonymity.

A senior PC official said most of the nine projects of LGED have been taken as per the recommendations of some ministers and powerful members of parliament (MPs).

According to the official sources, rural road construction projects in Faridpur, Chittagong, Kusthia and Gopalganj are some of the politically-motivated projects.

"We will place nine projects from one sector before ECNEC on Sunday, which are taken for rural road and bridge construction in some districts," the PC official added.

"The existing MPs from the ruling party, who will be candidates again in the upcoming national election, will be able to tell the voters that they have brought approval for the development projects. Thus, showing it they will seek votes from the voters."

But the problem is, as most of the projects are taken without proper feasibility study, these will ultimately struggle during implementation, he opined.

A total of 97 development projects, taken at a total cost of Tk 1.04 trillion, were approved at the Prime Minister-headed ECNEC meetings in October.

Development analysts said since the government has fund constraint, the projects will not get adequate allocation, causing time and cost overrun.

Ultimately, people will not get benefit from the projects, as their execution will be delayed, they noted.

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