Development spending to fall short again - Share market analysis of dhaka stock exchange, Bangladesh

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17 May, 2018 10:16 AM Source: The Daily Star Bangladesh

The government looks set to fall way short of implementing the development budget yet again, despite repeated assurances by Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal that the full amount would be utilised this fiscal year.

In the first ten months of fiscal 2017-18, 52.42 percent of the allocation for the annual development programme has been used, in contrast to 54.56 percent a year earlier, according to data from the planning ministry's Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division.

The total allocation for this fiscal year is Tk 1.58 lakh crore, meaning the ministries and divisions have the herculean task of expending Tk 74,991 crore over the next two months.

Between July last year and April this year, their monthly average spending was Tk 8,260 crore.

The planning minister on Monday told reporters that 90 percent of the development budget was implemented last fiscal year, but this fiscal year the implementation rate would be 100 percent.

“It is absurd to spend such a huge amount in such a short time,” said an official of the planning ministry upon conditions of anonymity to speak candidly on the matter.

In the first ten months of the fiscal year, the government's own fund utilisation was Tk 46,479 crore, which is 48.25 percent of the total outlay. In the same period of last fiscal year, 55.98 percent was spent. On the other hand, foreign fund was spent 61 percent -- or Tk 31,787 crore -- of the total allocation, up from 47.74 percent a year earlier.

Project aid implementation rose as all ministries have strengthened their monitoring system, Kamal said.

The ministries have been communicating with the development partners on a regular basis, which resulted in timely release of finds. Development spending by state-owned enterprises was Tk 4,338 crore, which is 44.08 percent of their allocation.

For fiscal 2017-18, the government had originally set aside Tk 1.64 lakh crore for development spending but later on March 7 revised it down to Tk 1.58 lakh crore.

The government's contribution to the revised ADP remained the same at Tk 96,331 crore.

On the other hand, the project aid was cut by 8.68 percent, or Tk 4,950 crore, to Tk 52,050 crore. The allocation for the state-owned enterprises was trimmed by Tk 1,540 crore, or 14.32 percent, to Tk 9,213 crore.

Of the 15 large ministries and divisions that account for 85.67 percent of the allocation, four managed to spend higher than average amounts in the first ten months of the fiscal year.

The four are: the power division (79.51 percent), the local government division (61.75 percent), science and technology ministry (62.94 percent), and housing and public works ministry (65.81 percent).

The rest spent less than average.

Of those, road transport and highways division spent 51 percent, the energy and mineral resources division 47.21 percent, the railways ministry spent 21.35 percent, primary and mass education ministry 39.74 percent, health service division 40 percent, and bridges division 39.59 percent.

Besides, water resources ministry expended 42.95 percent, secondary and higher education division 47.45 percent, information and communication technology division 36.82 percent and shipping ministry 52 percent.

After the ADP revision in March, the Prime Minister's Office leapfrogged into the list of 15 large ministries.

The PMO's original allocation was Tk 983 crore, but it was revised upwards to Tk 4,124 crore (including block allocation). In the first ten months of the year, 27.45 percent has been spent.


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