‘We need to make additional efforts to tackle the adverse impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,’ says an ADB official
The government of Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at a tripartite portfolio review meeting (TPRM) on Thursday agreed on an action plan to further accelerate the implementation of ADB-assisted projects in 2021-2022 to promote faster socio-economic recovery.
Kenichi Yokoyama, director general for ADB’s South Asia Department, in his opening remarks appreciated policies and programs for expeditious socio-economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also urged for building a stronger project pipeline, ensuring higher project readiness and improved implementation discipline for better portfolio performance to boost the ongoing socio-economic recovery process in Bangladesh, said a press release.
Fatima Yasmin, secretary of Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Manmohan Parkash, ADB country director for Bangladesh, co-chaired the virtual TPRM.
Around 250 senior government officials, project directors, and ADB staff participated in the second such review meeting in 2021 for resolving project implementation issues and formulating strategies to quicken project implementation.
“The enhanced focus for expediting project implementation reflects our reoriented program priorities for accelerating the ongoing socioeconomic recovery process,” said Manmohan Parkash.
“We are emphasizing faster and compliant procurement of goods and services to increase contract award and fund disbursement,” he added.
Complimenting the government’s initiatives for creating jobs and increasing public investment, Parkash underscored the need for making additional efforts to tackle the adverse impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“We must rise to the occasion and ensure the quality of our work through innovation and taking the advantage of technologies,” Parkash added.
The TPRM reviewed the progress of actions agreed in March 2021, and readiness status of 2021-2022 pipeline projects. Specific actions were agreed for slow moving projects to utilize the project money expeditiously.
The TPRM discussed 43 projects with 118 different issues and agreed on 132 time-bound actions with specific responsibilities for the respective agencies. ADB’s current sovereign portfolio has 52 projects with $12.03 billion.
ADB operates in Bangladesh in six sectors—energy, transport, water and urban/municipal infrastructure and services, education, finance, and agriculture, natural resources, and rural development.
The cumulative lending to Bangladesh stands at over $40 billion in loans and grants, including cofinancing.