The government on Sunday approved proposed allocation of Tk 153,331 crore for implementation of development projects in the financial year 2018, which is 38.51 per cent higher than the allocation in the outgoing year.
At a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, National Economic Council approved the proposed ADP.
NEC also approved a proposed allocation of Tk 10,669 crore for implementing the self-financed projects of the state-owned enterprises.
Out of Tk 153,331 crore ADP allocation, the government will fund Tk 96,331 crore while the rest of the funding, Tk 57,000 crore, will come as project assistance, according to a report prepared for the NEC meeting.
Planning mister AHM Mustafa Kamal, after the NEC meeting, told reporters that the growth in ADP allocation was needed as the demand was high as it was showing a geometric growth.
In a way of justifying the proposed ADP allocation, he said that the government’s revenue earning was consistently growing at 18 per cent for the past eight years.
In the outgoing financial year 2017, the allocation under the government’s Annual Development Programme was Tk 110,700 crore which was recently cut short to Tk 104,200 crore due to failure in utilisation of funds.
Economists said that the 38.51 per cent hike in proposed ADP allocation was unrealistic in terms of spending the funds as well as sourcing of it in the next financial year.
Economist Mirza Azizul Islam said that it was not an attainable target and the unrealistic allocation would only increase the difference between plan and fund utilisation.
Overall budget implementation was estimated at 93 per cent in the financial year 2012 which was reduced to 78 per cent in 2016, he said.
Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh, said it was very unlikely to implement the ADP although the government took a number of big projects and the demand for allocation was high.
The major challenge is how the government would manage the funding as its income has not been growing in line with the growth in demand for ADP, he said.
The government estimated 30 per cent growth in revenue income in the outgoing financial year which would not be achieved, he said, adding that the growth would not exceed 20 per cent in the next year.
The local government division received the government’s top priority in terms of ADP allocations for the financial year 2018 while the power division and the road transport and highway division received second and third priorities respectively.
In the proposed ADP, the local government would receive Tk 21,464.55 crore, power division would receive Tk 18,845 crore and the road transport and highway division would receive Tk 16,820 crore.
The ADP allocations for the science and technology ministry and that for the bridge division were significantly high as of the past year due to two mega projects—one is the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project and the other is the Padma Bridge project.
Science and technology ministry would receive Tk 10,602 crore in ADP allocation while the bridge division would receive Tk 8,403.51 crore.
The government took some 90 fresh projects in the financial year 2018 while it would carry out implementation of 1,300 old projects.
Source: New Age