The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government agreed to expedite implementation of ongoing projects and formulating pipeline projects to ensure disbursement of proposed aid from the Manila-based agency, said a press release.
The decision came on Wednesday from a tripartite portfolio review meeting (TPRM) participated by the representatives of the ADB, Economic Relations Division (ERD) and implementing agencies.
The meeting reviewed the 2020 portfolio performance and agreed on short- and medium-term roadmaps for 2021-2022 to further accelerate the implementation of ongoing projects.
ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin and ADB Country Director for Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash co-chaired the virtual meeting.
Around 300 senior government officials, project directors, and ADB staff participated in the first such review meeting in 2021, read the press release issued by the ADB.
At the event, ADB country director said, "We are focusing on accelerated project implementation for faster socioeconomic recovery."
Expediting procurement, accelerating approval, mobilising consultants and contractors early, and implementing health safety guidelines are some of the special actions agreed in the meeting, he added.
According to the release, the meeting agreed on the need for engaging good consultants and contractors, effective contract management, efficient land acquisition and resettlement, proper implementation of environmental management plan, and sound financial management, in addition to ensuring proper readiness before processing projects.
The meeting reviewed the progress of actions agreed in late 2020, and readiness status of 2021 pipeline projects. Specific actions were agreed for slow moving projects to utilise the project money expeditiously.
ADB's current sovereign portfolio has 52 projects with $11.26 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 around $39 billion in loans and grants, including co-financing.