Saturday, 18th May, 2024
Saturday, 18th May, 2024

Pandemic slows Bangladesh’s development spending

The Covid-19 pandemic seriously affected the development project execution by the relevant government agencies during July-October period of the fiscal year (FY) 2020-21, officials said on Wednesday.

The agencies managed to spend only 12.79 per cent of Tk 2.14 trillion Annual Development Programme (ADP) outlay in the first four months of the current fiscal, the government data showed.

The ADP implementation performance of the government agencies was as low as 11 per cent during the same period of FY’2016, according to the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED).

The ADP implementation rate picked up in FY’ 2017 and it improved in the next four years.

However, the implementation rate plunged in the current FY due to the impact of the COVID pandemic, experts and officials said on Wednesday.

The IMED data showed the government ministries and agencies spent 14.25 per cent of the ADP outlay in July-October period of the last FY.

During the same period of FY2019, the spending was 13.75 per cent, 14.51 per cent in FY 18 and 13.60 per cent in FY 17.

The government framed a Tk 2.14 trillion ADP, including the allocations for the autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies for the current fiscal.

Of the total outlay, it has allocated Tk 1.34 trillion funds from the internal resources, Tk 705.02 billion from the external resources as the project aid and Tk 94.66 billion from the funds of the autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies.

An IMED official said the government agencies spent higher funds from the local resources while less funds from the external resources, resulting in a lower ADP implementation rate this year. The agencies spent Tk 183.24 billion, 13.61 per cent of the total outlay from the internal resources in the four months to October.

However, they utilised Tk 82.84 billion, or 11.75 per cent of the foreign fund allocation.

The IMED official also said some of the big ministries had failed to improve their project execution capacity, as their implementation rates were lower than the same period of the last fiscal.

The poor performers were the health services division and the railway ministry as both had spent only 8.07 per cent and 8.95 per cent of their total allocations respectively during the period under review.

Besides, the performance of the science and technology ministry, housing and public works ministry, and the Bridges Division was no goo either.

The science and technology ministry spent 10.28 per cent, housing and public works ministry 10.11 per cent, and the Bridges Division 11.68 per cent of their total outlay in the last fiscal, the IMED data showed.

However, the Primary and Mass Education ministry, the Secondary and Higher Education Division and the Power Division had performed better in July-October period as they executed 25.15 per cent, 20.70 per cent and 16.69 per cent of their allocations respectively.

The ministries and agencies are implementing some 1,673 projects under the ongoing ADP.

The size of the ADP has been growing every year as the country seeks to develop infrastructure and make a dent in poverty.


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