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Scrutiny
  
Let’s ‘EVA’ government projects
Priority should be given to smaller projects and projects-on-hold
19/03/2009

In order to improve the quality of life in rural as well as urban India, the government has allocated an additional sum of Rs.4,000 crore and Rs.1,000 crore for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) respectively. Similar increases can be also seen in the allocation for almost all flagship programs of the UPA like the Accelerated Rural Water Supply (ARWS) & Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA).

But given the historical trend in the utilisation and ground reality when it comes to budgetary allocation, the question is, would the allocation this time be able to address oft experienced multi-dimensional problems? Ironically, these allocations will actually increase India’s parallel economy and the bank balances of middle-men and contractors.

In order to end the middle men commission concept and faulty tender processes, the government needs to adopt a fast-track single-window technical tendering process. The release of funds have to made much more efficient and quick – thus enabling the project to go on as per the schedule – as well as fines charged not just for implementation delays but also for unused funds (aka ADB). Smaller projects should be necessarily targeted first. For example, the JNNURM sanction should be immediately used for public facilities like roads, water in village areas, as these are the small projects that can be tendered and completed double quick.

Another innovative procedure could be to provide appropriate incentives to the tender awardees for completing plans before time and within budgets. Most importantly, well paid professional managers should be employed to manage and rate these projects from the government’s end. Believe us, it works to hire intelligent humans. Well, how many times have government ‘Abhiyans’ been rated on an Economic Value Added concept?

By:- B&E
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