The government on Thursday approved annual development programme worth Tk 1,73,000 crore with the number of projects marking a jump in 2018-19 fiscal that coincides with the election year.
Planning minister AHM Kamal while briefing reporters said the allocation was made for implementation of 1,452 projects, including 1,227 investment schemes, in the new fiscal beginning in July.
Roopur Nuclear Power Projects has been allocated the highest Tk 11,090 crore, followed by the Padma Multipurpose Bridge that has been allocated Tk 4395 crore and the Metrorail Tk 3902 crore, he said.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina at meeting of National Economic Council on the day at Planning Commission endorsed 17 per cent higher or Tk 15,405.61 crore more ADP over the revised size of Tk 1,57,594.39 crore ADP in outgoing fiscal.
According to Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, only 52.42 per cent of the ADP in the outgoing was implemented in the first ten months from July to April.
The number of projects, according to Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, is up by 174 as the ADP in the outgoing fiscal had started with implementation of 1,274 projects.
The IMED officials said inclusion of more projects in the ADP in the election was common as endorsement of more than 200 projects was given in 2013-14 fiscal that overlapped with the general election in January 2014.
Economist Salehuddin Ahmed said higher number of projects and high spending annual development programme without proper implementation would not bring any benefit to the people.
Inclusion of more without increasing skilled project directors, one of major hindrance for quality public expenditure, is worthless, noted Ahmed, also a former Bangladesh Bank governor.
The size of the new ADP became more than double in five years (Tk 77,836 crore ADP in 2014-201) but the higher government expenditure could increase the static private investment of 23.1 per cent.
Centre for Policy Dialogue
distinguished fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya said the government should focus on quality not quantity.
Of the total new ADP outlay, the planning minister said that the government would provide Tk 1,13,000 crore and Tk 60,000 crore would come from foreign sources.
The size of ADP in the new fiscal would go up to Tk 1,80,869 crore if the projects of Tk 7,819,12 with the autonomous bodies are considered, he said.
According to Planning Commission officials, the highest allocation of Tk 45,450 crore was made to the transport sector, followed by the power sector at Tk 22,000 crore.
The housing, physical planning and water supply received the third highest allocation of Tk 17,890 crore while the rural development sector Tk 16,690 crore.
Besides, the officials said that for education and religion was allocated Tk 16,620 crore, science and information communication and technology sector Tk 14,211 crore and health, population and family welfare Tk 11,905 crore.
The planning ministry officials said that as for ministry- and division-wise allocation, the Local Government and Engineering Division was given the highest allocation of Tk 23,438 crore.
The Power Division received Tk 22,892 crore, the Transport And Highways Division received Tk 20,817 crore, the science and technology ministry Tk 11,720 crore, the railway ministry Tk 11,155 crore, the primary and mass education ministry Tk 8,312 crore, the Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Division Tk 6,600 crore and the water resource ministry Tk 5,606 crore.
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