Cabinet happy with annual reports

Ministries, divisions portray only successes in power generation, remittance and other areas

The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed satisfaction with annual reports of the ministries and divisions, which focused only on the success of the government.

The reports drew attention to positive developments in 28 areas like power generation, inflow of remittance, disposal of pending cases and social safety net programmes. But they mentioned nothing about infrastructure development projects like Padma bridge and corruption issues, according to a fact sheet provided by the cabinet division

One of the success stories is a reduction in the drop-out rate in primary schools, 29.7 percent in 2011-12, down from 39.8 percent in the previous year.

The reports were submitted four months after the completion of the fiscal year.

The cabinet evaluated the reports and was very happy about the progress, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said, briefing journalists after the meeting at the secretariat.

The overall performance of the government was positive last year, he said, adding, “implementation of the decisions was very satisfactory but there is still room for improvement.”

Musharraf said there were many achievements in the communications sector, but did not elaborate. Population growth rate has been reduced slightly. The government gained 91 percent implementation of the annual development programme (ADP).

In reply to a query, he said the discussion did not shed light on the Padma bridge project as the ministries had not given any information regarding the matter in the reports.

Asked whether corruption issues came up in the meeting, the cabinet secretary said, “There was in fact no real discussion on corruption. However, the ministries and divisions identified barriers to implementing projects and decisions. The cabinet discussed how to remove those barriers.”

Mosharraf, however, said the number of vacant posts in government services increased by 2,42,236 or 2.07 percent at the end of fiscal 2011-12.

“Lack of capacity of Public Service Commission, absence of rules and writs filed against recruitments are the reasons for the vacancies,” he told journalists, adding the cabinet had given necessary instructions for recruitment.

As per the fact sheet, both import and export of goods increased in 2011-12. The export earning rose to $24.28 billion from $22.928 billion in 2010-11. Total import cost in the last fiscal year was $35.441 billion while it was $33.657 billion in 2010-11.

Musharraf said the expenditure in the ADP in 2011-12 was Tk 37,372 crore, which was Tk 32,855 crore in the previous fiscal year. The expenditure in different social safety net programmes also increased to Tk 20,279.02 crore from Tk 15,565.43 crore in 2010-11.

Source: The Daily Star