Plea to form JS body on PPP, The Financial Express, October 21, 2012

FE Report

Speakers at a regional conference Saturday called upon the government to consider forming a parliamentary standing committee on public private partnership (PPP) to ensure better project implementation and greater accountability.

They also called for more involvement of parliamentarians in the PPP process to make project implementation more transparent to the people and smoothen the implementation process.

These were some of the views expressed by the speakers at the opening ceremony of the day-long regional conference on cooperation between members of parliament and PPP.

Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), in collaboration with the Asia Foundation, organised the conference on “Strengthening Cooperation between Members of Parliament and the Private Sector in Making the Public Private Partnership (PPP) More Effective” at a city hotel.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK’s overseas development authority also supported the conference.

Col Shawkat Ali (Retd), Deputy Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS), Chandimal Weerakkody, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, and N.K. Singh, Member of the Rajya Sabha, New Delhi, India, among others, spoke on the occasion.

N.K. Singh said the idea of PPP gained importance as the public sector was lacking in the level of efficiency required for project implementation while the private sector could help accelerate it.

He said the coordination between PPP projects and the members of parliament should be improved for ensuring better outcomes.

Russell Pepe, chief of party of the Project for Strengthening Cooperation between Members of Parliament and the Private Sector in Making the Public Private Partnership (PPP) More Effective, said the conference would provide an opportunity for further discussion and sharing experience on PPP in the countries concerned and bridging the gap between lawmakers and the private sector.

He viewed the public-private partnership as very important for promoting economic growth and development in each of the participating countries and in the region as a whole.

Ambassador Farooq Sobhan said the conference intended to create a platform for sharing ideas and learning about best practices in South Asia that may help create a strong and effective partnership among the parliamentarians, the private sector and the civil society.

He expressed hope that the conference would create avenues for the participants to discuss and exchange experiences on the state of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in their respective countries and the state of regulatory reform required for bolstering economic growth.

The growth in the private sector is intrinsically linked with strengthening of democratic institutions and practices, Mr Sobhan said adding that despite the growth, a regulatory mechanism was yet to be evolved to facilitate the private sector growth.

He expected that on completion of the conference, a set of recommendations, along with an action plan, would be drawn up to ensure how best the PPP projects can be implemented through strengthening cooperation between lawmakers and the private sector.

The recommendations and proceedings of the conference would be disseminated to the Members of Parliament, policy makers, the civil society and the media in Bangladesh, he further hoped.


21 October, 2012