Power sector’s demand for ADP fund soars

Manjurul Ahsan | Updated at 01:57am on April 11, 2018

The power division has sought an allocation of Tk 31,627.38 crore for development projects under the government’s Annual Development Programme in 2018-19 financial year.
The demand is 25.84 per cent higher than the revised development allocation for the current financial year to be closed on June 30, 2018.
The allocation for the power division projects increased in the revised budget to Tk 24,516.76 crore from Tk 18,845 crore for 20127-18 financial year, according to the revised Annual Development Programme approved on March 6.
The revised development allocation for the division was Tk 8,276.82 crore in 2014-15, Tk 15,476.21 crore in 2015-16 and Tk 16,217.83 crore in 2016-17 for the power division.
The proposed allocation is 52.58 per cent higher than the ceiling of Tk 20,728.58 crore set by the finance division for the power sector development projects under mid-term budgetary framework for 2018-19 financial year, the officials said.
The power division sent the proposal to the planning ministry via finance ministry in March seeking development allocation of Tk 31,627.38 crore for implementing 98 projects of power generation, transmission and distribution, they said.
The energy division also sent a proposal in March seeking an allocation of Tk 2,257.93 crore for development projects for storage and supply of primary energy, including petroleum oil and natural gas, they added.
The energy division sought the allocation in line with the ceiling set by the finance division, according to meeting minutes of budget management committee approved on March 27.
Power division secretary Ahmad Kaikaus told New Age on Tuesday that boosting electricity transmission and distribution capacities along with the generation capacity in the public sector increased the latest funding requirement.
‘Like today, a power transmission system upgrading project was approved at a cost of Tk 11,000 crore,’ he said.
Another power division official said that 15 fresh projects were added to 81 ongoing projects in the revised Annual Development Projects for 2017-18 and later two other projects were approved increasing the fund requirement.
In March, the executive committee of the National Economic Council, however, approved Tk 1,57,594.39 crore in revised annual development programme for 2017-18, some 3.96 per cent less than the original allocation of Tk 164,084.83 crore.
The government estimated its proposed ADP size at Tk 178,000 crore for 2018-19 financial year, said officials.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh energy adviser M Shamsul Alam termed the rising demand for allocation for power sector development projects unabated and attributed the trend to lack of competitiveness in awarding contracts.
There is no monitoring and scrutiny in the development expenditure in power sector, he said.
Power division officials, however, said that that the funding was required to increase the power generation capacity to 24,000MW by 2021 and to ensure electricity for all by that time increasing power transmission and distribution capacities.