The Planning Commission in its extended meeting on Wednesday approved a revision to the Annual Development Programme (ADP), downsizing it by 7.87% as various implementing authorities lagged behind in their spending targets.
The National Economic Council (NEC) is expected to give final approval on 2 March to the revised ADP amounting to Tk207,550 crore for the current financial year.
The commission officials said the government funds – Tk137,300 crore – remained unchanged in the revised budget, while foreign aid is to decrease substantially. In the revised ADP, foreign funds are expected to come down to Tk17,774 crore from the original Tk88,024 crore.
A total of 1,753 projects have received allocations in the revised ADP, and 378 of them are expected to be completed in fiscal 2021-22.
Khandker Ahsan Hossain, head of the commission's Programming Division, said it approved the allocations after reviewing the project-based demand proposals of ministries and departments, their implementation rates, and funding.
The revised ADP will be placed for final approval at a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 2 March, he added.
Ministry and department wise allocations
As per the Planning Commission's proposal, several ministries and departments given the most in the ADP may have their allocations reduced.
Although the Road Transport and Highways Division allocation has slightly increased in the revised ADP, the allocation to the railway ministry and the Bridges Division has decreased.
The Road Transport and Highways Division allocation has been increased by 0.89% to Tk28,292 crore, while the railway ministry and the Bridges Division allocations have dropped by 7% and 42%, respectively.
The Power Division saw a decline in allocation by 10% in the current financial year. Although the allocation to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education has increased a little, it has decreased for the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education.
In the revised ADP, the Planning Commission has approved a reduction in allocation for the health sector by 18.79%. According to the commission's programming division, among the 15 sectors of the ADP, health saw the greatest drop in allocation.
According to Planning Commission officials, allocations for all sectors, including agriculture, transport and communications, power and energy, local government and rural development, and education, are being reduced in the revised ADP.
Dr Ahsan H Mansur, executive director at the Policy Research Institute (PRI), said, "Spending is not rising in areas where there was a need to increase spending by focusing on coping with the Covid-19 situation and reviving the economy."
"Increasing quality spending for health and education is needed for the recovery of the economy. But that has not happened," he added.
The economist said that in 50 years of independence, the project implementation capacity of ministries and departments has not increased. That is why allocations in the revised ADP have been reduced.