6 years ago

JICA-funded projects in BD

Japan places dos necessary to expedite execution

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Japan has urged Bangladesh to conduct feasibility studies properly before it takes up development projects to avoid cost and time overrun, officials said on Monday.

Bangladesh's largest bilateral development partner also urged the government not to change project directors frequently.

It also asked for appointing adequate manpower to execute the projects properly, said a ministry of finance (MoF) official.

The pieces of advice came from Japan at a project review meeting, held in Dhaka early this week.

Most projects get revisions, extending time and costs, and all these affect the target output.

Officials of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka, local project implementing agencies, and the Economic Relations Division (ERD) attended the review meeting.

The development partner reviewed its supported projects in Bangladesh as some are not performing well, said the finance ministry official.

"With the above recommendations, Japan has asked the government to complete the project approval process before confirmation of its assistance to expedite the implementation process," said the official.

The donor said it takes considerable time from the inception of projects and their approvals in Bangladesh, which delay their implementation, impacting the financial and economic returns.

Another finance ministry official said Japan mainly sat with the government side to remove obstacles that stand in the way of implementation of the projects financed by it. Because of these hurdles, five out of more than two dozen projects have been labelled as "challenging."

According to the officials, some five JICA-funded projects are the worst performing while the execution of some other has not started yet.

Among those, the Local Government Division's "Upazila governance and development project", disaster management ministry's "Disaster risk management enhancement project," Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh's "Hazrat Shahjalal airport expansion project" are the worst-performing.

Besides, Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB)'s "New Haripur power development project" and Bangladesh Power Development Board's Haripur power plant project are also in the same category.

Meanwhile, the JICA-funded some other large projects including Matarbari power plant, MRT line-6 (metrorail) in Dhaka, and Western Bangladesh bridge improvement projects in Bangladesh are faring well.

At the review meeting, the agencies said complex land acquisition process is one of the key impediments in the way of project implementation.

Japan provides nearly US $400 million to $ 600 million in aid to Bangladesh a year.

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