‘Be happy with your salary’

Govt officials asked to focus on dev projects instead of corruption

Cabinet members and parliamentary watchdogs continued issuing strong words of warning against a section of government high ups and project directors who are reluctant to expedite the ongoing development projects. They said most of the projects are going on at snail’s pace as the government high ups are either not serious or engaged in other jobs instead of their assigned task.

As a result, uncertainty surrounds timely implementation of these development projects including ten mega projects. The mega projects are: Padma Bridge, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Rampal coal-fired Power Plant, Sonadia Deep Sea Port, Dhaka Mass Rapid Development Transit Project, LNG Terminal, Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Project, Payra Sea Port, Padma Bridge rail link and construction of Rail track between Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar.

The government high command and cabinet members accused the bureaucrats of delaying implementation of the projects. According to the sources, if the bureaucrats expedite the file procedure system, cooperate with project directors and continue visiting sites, all projects would be implemented in time.

On Sunday, Planning Minister MA Mannan asked the government officials to be happy with their salaries and give full concentration to their respective jobs in order to expedite the ongoing development work. “You must carry out your responsibilities with dedication, sincerity and honesty with the fund allocated for completion of different projects within the deadline,” he said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina always asks the secretaries of different ministries and other bureaucrats to accelerate the pace of mega projects in order to complete their construction in time but civil servants’ insincerity and their backdated proceeding are delaying those.
The government officials also are continuously giving lame excuses when they are asked to inform the high command about update of the development works.

Planning Minister said at a program in Sylhet, “General people see and understand all the development works of the country. They stand firmly behind us. For this reason, all the people concerned have to spend carefully on all government purchases, keeping in mind the watchful eyes of the people.”

“Therefore, everyone involved in purchasing for any government project must be careful, he added. “As various allegations about irregularities including unrealistic pillow price are made against the government officials, we must be careful when we spend money for any project,” he said.

“You (government high-ups and project directors) must be accountable and transparent when you spend government funds for the development projects. He asked the government officials to remember that it is the people's money when handling it. For the first time in the country, ten mega projects are being implemented by the AL government.

Construction works of these projects are now visible across the country, but uncertainty hangs over timely implementation due to typical bureaucratic complexities. The government identified these projects as of immense importance for the economy of the country and brought them under first track project monitoring taskforce.

Although the ruling AL government is committed to complete at least three of these mega projects before the end of their tenure, policymakers are now concerned because of the sluggish progress because of bureaucratic obstacles. The mega projects were planned by the government as popular initiatives for creating sustainable economy. The projects are supervised directly by a Fast-Track Project Monitoring Committee and a Fast Track Task Force, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chairing both.

On the other hand, on Sunday, the parliamentary standing committee on housing and public works ministry reviewed the ongoing urban projects and future plans of major cities asked the concerned ministry to complete those within the time frame. The parliamentary watchdog also discussed various urban projects at its sixth meeting at Sangsad Bhaban here with committee chairman Engineer Mosharraf Hossain in the chair.

The meeting also discussed the overall progress of the ongoing projects of RAJUK, Khulna Development Authority (KDA), Chattogram Development Authority (CDA), Rajshahi Development Authority(RDA), Cox’s Bazar Development Authority, National Housing Authority, City Development Department and House Building Research Institute.

The meeting was informed that the authorities concerned and agencies are working relentlessly to complete the projects within the stipulated time.