Joint review agreed on ADB’s portfolio

The government on Wednesday agreed with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on time-bound actions to improve the performance of the Bank’s portfolio in the country and achieve the 2013 development targets.The decision came from a joint review by the ADB and the government held at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) on the ADB-assisted projects in Bangladesh to deliver better development results.
Senior government officials, project directors, and ADB officials from its headquarters and the Bangladesh Resident Mission participated in the daylong review chaired jointly by ERD Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad, and Juan Miranda, Director General for South Asia Department of ADB, and Stefan Ekelund, deputy country director for ADB resident mission.
Specific actions agreed include reducing start up delays, early preparation and approval of Development Project Proposal (DPP), raising capacity for DPP preparation and procurement, and strict adherence to project readiness filters before loan approvals, said an official at the ADB resident office.
Agreement was also reached on finalizing plans for procurement of goods and services, appointment of project staff by executing agencies, completing preparation of bid documents, and finalizing land acquisition and resettlement plans before project approvals.
“The review agreed on time-bound actions to improve the performance of the portfolio and achieve the 2013 development targets,” said deputy country director Stefan Ekelund.
“The review will help improve project implementation by removing bottlenecks and constraints to achieving development results for the people of Bangladesh,” he added.
ADB assistance to Bangladesh currently totals over $900 million a year. As one of the lead development partners in energy, water supply and sanitation, agriculture and natural resources, education, and transport sectors, ADB’s cumulative lending to Bangladesh amounts to $14.1 billion for 234 loans, while the technical assistance grants for 422 projects stood at $228.41 million as of 23 June 2013.
ADB portfolio for Bangladesh currently includes 57 loans amounting to $5.13 billion, and 39 TAs amounting to $32.15 million.
The Manila-based ADB is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2012, ADB assistance totaled $21.6 billion, including co-financing of $8.3 billion. (Source: UNB)

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