The government has finalised a Tk568,000 crore budget outlay for the 2020-21 fiscal year, giving utmost priority to the education and technology sector.
The transport and communications sector is going to get the second highest allocation, followed by interest payments on domestic and external debts.
The cumulative total allocated for these three sectors stands at Tk214,148 crore, which is 37.70 percent of the total outlay.
In terms of percentage points, sectors such as public administration, health, and subsidies and incentives are going to see the highest increase in allocation in the upcoming budget against the revised outlay for the outgoing fiscal year.
The health sector, which has become the most talked-about sector in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, will witness a 23.44 percent or Tk5,554 crore increase in budgetary allocation for the new fiscal year, compared to the revised budget for FY20.
However, the sector is placed at the 10th position on the list of sectors with highest allocation.
The agriculture sector is going to hold the ninth position with a Tk2,960 crore increase in allocation, including a Tk500 crore additional subsidy, from that in the revised outlay for the current fiscal year.
Although the transport and communications sector is in the second place in terms of highest allocation, it will see a decline in allocation when compared to the outgoing fiscal year.
The other major sectors which are also going to get their allocations lowered include the power and energy, local government and rural development, and industrial and economic services sectors.
An analysis of the summary of the proposed budget shows that the education and technology sector will get the highest Tk85,760 crore allocation in the upcoming budget, which is 15.10 percent of the total outlay. In the original budget for the current fiscal year, the education sector had been allocated Tk79,486 crore, which was reduced to Tk77,039 crore in the revised outlay.
The transport and communications sector is going to get Tk64,587 crore, which is 11.37 percent of the total expenditure. The sector is going to see a Tk6,091 crore increase in allocation from Tk58,496 crore in the revised budget for the current fiscal year, but the allocation is Tk242 crore less than that given in the original budget for FY20.
The FY21 budget is going to keep aside the third highest allocation of Tk63,801 crore for the payment of interests of domestic and foreign loans. The sum is Tk6,137 crore or 10.64 percent higher than the allocation it has received in the revised budget for the outgoing fiscal year. In the original outlay for FY20, the sector had been allocated Tk57,119 crore.
Economists and health experts have placed the highest emphasis on a complete overhaul of the health sector after the coronavirus pandemic exposed its dismal state. The sector will have a 5.148 percent share of the total outlay for the next fiscal year, which is the highest it has had in the last nine years.
Earlier in FY2010-11, the health sector was given an allocation equivalent to 5.76 percent of the total budget.
The high-ups in the government, including the prime minister, stressed giving a thrust to the agriculture sector in apprehension of a global famine due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Accordingly, the sector is going to get an increased allocation in the next budget. Some Tk29,983 crore is going to be kept aside for the sector, which is Tk2,960 crore higher than that of the revised outlay for the current fiscal. In the original outlay for FY20, agriculture had got an allocation of Tk28,355 crore. Besides, subsidies in sector have also been increased to Tk9,501 crore in FY21 from Tk8,001 crore in the revised outlay for FY20.
Officials at the agriculture ministry said farmers will receive a 60 percent subsidy on buying agricultural machines from the next fiscal year. A Tk3,198 crore farm automation project has been taken up for this purpose, they said.
The public administration sector is going to get an allocation of Tk38,240 crore in the next budget, which is 70.13 percent higher than the Tk22,477 crore allocation it received in the revised outlay for the current fiscal year. The sector holds the sixth position in terms of highest allocation in the FY21 budget.
Although the local government and rural development sector was said to be given extra attention to protect rural people from the coronavirus fallouts, the sector is going to see its allocation lowered in the next budget. Some Tk39,573 crore is going to be kept aside for the sector in the next budget, although the amount was Tk40,473 crore in the revised budget for FY20.
The FY21 budget is going to increase allocation for subsidies and incentives by 20.96 percent to Tk38,688 crore from that in the revised outlay for FY20. The implementation of the government announced coronavirus incentive packages worth around Tk1,00,000 crore will lead to a rise in expenditures in this sector. Financial ministry officials said there will be no rise in the rates of incentives on export of various products, and a 2 percent incentive on remittance in the next fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the next budget is going to allocate Tk32,166 crore on the social safety net and social welfare sector, which is Tk1,166 crore higher that in the revised budget for the current fiscal year.
The government considers pensions and gratuities as a safety net sector. The FY21 budget is going to keep aside Tk27,706 crore for this purpose, which was Tk27,090 crore in the revised outlay for FY20.
The defence sector is going to get Tk34,882 crore allocation in the new budget, seeing a Tk1,776 crore increase from the allocation made in the current fiscal year's revised budget.
Meanwhile, the home ministry and agencies under it are going to get Tk28,688 crore allocation in the next budget. The figure was Tk27,437 crore in the current fiscal year's revised outlay.
In what can be deemed as a reflection of suggestions from organisations like the Centre for Policy Dialogue and economists to cut allocation in the power and energy sector and use the money to meet increased demands in others sectors, the government is going to reduce allocation for the sector to Tk26,758 crore in the coming fiscal year from Tk28,050 crore in the revised outlay for the outgoing fiscal year.
The FY21 budget is going to allocate Tk27,706 crore for investment in shares and equities against government shares on various institutions, and meeting capital shortage in various public institutions. The sum is 107.75 percent higher than the Tk13,459 crore in the revised budget for the current fiscal year, although in the original budget of FY20, it had been Tk25,063 crore.
The housing sector is going to get a reduced allocation of Tk6,936 crore in the coming budget, which was Tk7,446 crore in the current fiscal's revised outlay.
The industrial and economic services sector is also going to get its allocation lowered by Tk798 crore to Tk3,940 crore in the next budget as against the revised outlay for FY20.
The entertainment, culture and religion sector is going get allocation of Tk4,786 crore, which was revised to Tk4,735 crore from Tk4,388 crore in the outgoing fiscal year's budget.
Besides, projects which are not under the annual development plan of the government will get Tk4,722 crore in the next budget and another Tk567 crore will be allocated to food. In the original outlay for the current fiscal year, these two sectors have received Tk5,315 crore and Tk308 crore respectively, which were later revised to Tk4,846 crore and Tk654 crore.