There are many reasons behind the delay in implementing development projects in our country.
On many occasions the projects are not designed well and as a result, while implementing a project, the project authority has to change designs.
Another major reason is that when the government drafts a plan to acquire a piece of land, the news spreads in the area and some vested quarters file cases with the courts to try to benefit from it. This slows down the process.
The donors also attach many conditions in procurement and intervene in the process of employing consultants.
To fulfill the donors' conditions, it takes time to implement the projects on time. And these problems arise even before the implementation of a project.
The delay also happens due to import of machineries and lack of specialised manpower.
The frequent changing of project directors also hampers the project implementation.
When a new project director takes charge, it takes some time for her/him to understand the project's different issues. The new directors also make changes to the plan.
As a result, the project loses continuity. Whenever a delay happens, the project cost increases, because the price of things also increases.
Moreover, the government has to negotiate with the donor agency, which also takes some more time.
Sometimes the budget allocation also remains insufficient to implement the project. The government does not allocate the amount a project needs to be completed. So the process becomes slow.
In many cases, our feasibility studies are substandard, due to which the problem arises at the time of implementation. As a result, it takes time to implement the projects.
The government will have put more emphasis on the feasibility studies.
Moreover, it will have to provide incentives to the project directors who perform well and sanction those who perform poorly.
To rid ourselves of these problems, the projects need to be monitored more and they need to be included in the Annual Performance Agreement.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman is a distinguished fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD)