Planning Minister MA Mannan has expressed his dissatisfaction several times over the inflated pricing for project purchases.
Of late, fixing the price of a boti at Tk10,000 by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) for its agricultural mechanisation project has added to his annoyance.
The pricing discrepancy came to light after a report titled "How much does a Boti cost? It costs Tk10k for govt" was published in The Business Standard on July 19 last.
Planning Minister MA Mannan is now going to meet with secretaries from all ministries and divisions to discuss the estimation of unjustifiably high prices of products and services for development projects.
The minister will present some case studies about inflated pricing of products and services under various projects at the meeting scheduled for next Thursday (August 13) at the National Economic Council auditorium in the capital.
The planning minister told The Business Standard on Monday that the commission has found unreasonable pricing for several products under various projects.
The commission has sent back some projects to justify prices while some others got approval bypassing the commission's glance. The DAE's agriculture project was one of those projects.
"We approve a lot of projects as the government prioritises development. Any corruption will degrade the outcomes of those projects. We will no longer tolerate such overestimation of prices," the minister said.
The secretaries have responsibility for price estimates for project purchases.
They should check out a project proposal thoroughly prior to sending it to the planning commission for its approval, he added.
Work pressure on the planning commission officials will reduce to some extent if the secretaries become sincere about their duties.
"The meeting will discuss the quality of development project proposals and the responsibilities of the secretaries. I will try to know the reasons behind inflated prices of project goods from the secretaries and will instruct them to avoid pricing discrepancies in the future," said Mannan.
The notice of the meeting contains an agenda regarding a review of the implementation of the Annual Development Programme for the last fiscal year and its proper implementation in the current fiscal.