PCP – Lack of management capacity affects development projects

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KARACHI: The Planning Commission of Pakistan has said that development projects tend to suffer because of lack of professional management capacity.

It launched a report on Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects, which identified that continuing fiscal policy difficulties have not only starved projects of financing, but have also made funding volatile at the cost of project implementation.

Besides, cost overruns and penalties were continuously being incurred as a result while land acquisition that remains variable is continuously inflating costs. The report suggests that inadequate preparation such as well prepared feasibilities and clear project management plans often lead to confused implementation such as unsynchronized procurements and construction.

Finally, there seems to be limited planning for post-completion maintenance or effective administration of the projects for maximizing benefits to the people.

“To understand public service delivery and growth in the country, we need to understand projects, their implementation and finally their delivery to the people of Pakistan,” said Dr Nadeem Ul Haq, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission.

The execution of PSDP projects had, no doubt, brought relief to the general public at large and positively contributed to the national economy, he said.

However, it may not be enough in the backdrop of rapidly growing population and consequent increased demand for provision of social services and infrastructure facilities, he added.

Realizing this, the government endeavours to ensure provision of basic facilities to a major portion of population and further plans to extend these to all provinces and regions of the country through fiscal decentralisation and resources transfer as per NFC award, said the PC chief.

A spokesperson of the Commission said that in order to disseminate pertinent information to the concerned stakeholders in the national development process, the planning Commission complied information on PSDP projects completed during financial year 2009-10.

Planning Commission is responsible for appraisal and approval of projects and for third party monitoring and evaluation of PSDP projects. Ministries, the main stakeholders, are required to take corrective measures during execution of projects.

Planning Commission’s Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (MEU) plays a key role in streamlining project implementation within approved time, cost and scope.

“MEU is continually trying to provide useful guidelines to implementing agencies as well as feedback to policy makers to effect improvements for better utilisation of available resources,” the spokesperson said.

Source:  http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=65484&Cat=3

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