What is delaying infrastructure projects in Bangladesh?

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Although megaprojects – or public infrastructure projects (PIPs) – look good on paper, quality is not always assured while project priorities and social objectives are often overlooked.

Bangladesh ranked 105th out of 141 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Infrastructure Competitiveness Report 2020. The World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report showed Bangladesh ranked 168 out of 190 economies with a score of 45.

Major concerns and shortcomings with megaprojects include inadequate planning and feasibility studies, faulty coordination on the ground, lack of budget allocation for project maintenance, delays (and increased cost of delays); and more.

Subsequently, there is a lack of adequate preservation and supervision of infrastructure and the absence of qualified human resources, resulting in a lack of long-term service agreements with foreign contractors.

In a recent policy discussion during a program regarding the proper implementation of PIPs, experts in the field highlighted the shortcomings that hamper infrastructure development in the country and ways to address these shortcomings. The program was based on the ongoing study by Dr. Mustafizur Rahman and organized by the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in collaboration with The Asia Foundation.

The Business Standard spoke to Dr. Mustafizur Rahman, Dr. M. Masrur Reaz, Dr. Md. Shamsul Hoque and Mohammad Mejbahuddin for their insights on the topic of public infrastructure projects and how Bangladesh can put implement projects efficiently on time.

Infographic: TBS

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Infographic: TBS

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