ADP implementation off to a slow start
Development expenditure fell 17.64 % year-on-year in July as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer the economy, official data showed.
The government managed to spend Tk 3,254 crore from its gross annual development programme (ADP) budget in the first month of the brand new fiscal year, down from Tk 3,951 crore in the same month a year ago.
This means ministries and divisions expended 1.52 per cent of the Tk 214,611 crore reserve to handle development activities in 2020-21, according to the data of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division beneath the planning ministry.
July's outlay was less compared to the Tk 45,579 crore spent in June, the last month of the recent past fiscal year.
Despite the significant reopening of the economy from the two-month's long countrywide lockdown in June, development activities have not yet gained momentum as the deadly virus isn't showing any signs of abating.
Construction works beneath the mega projects, which found a grinding halt following the virus hit the country in March, have not found pace.
Contractors of donor-backed projects, including those bankrolled by Japan, have not returned with their project sites, said a planning ministry official.
The ADP implementation from the government's coffer dropped 31.6 % to Tk 1,584 crore in July while spending from foreign assistance declined 0.89 % to Tk 1,445 crore.
The energy division was the most notable performer in July as it spent Tk 1,089 crore, followed by the railways ministry (Tk 664 crore), municipality division (Tk 536 crore) and the road transport and highways division (Tk 168 crore).
Medical service division spent Tk 127 crore, the housing and public works ministry Tk 119 crore, the technical and madrasah education division Tk 105 crore and the industries ministry Tk 101 crore.
No money could be spent in July by the water resources, civil aviation and tourism, disaster management relief, textiles and jute and Chattogram, Liberation War and foreign affairs ministries, Bangladesh Public Service Commission and parliament secretariat.
The ADP for the existing fiscal year includes 1,724 projects.
Development activities came almost to a halt after the government was forced to implement a countrywide shutdown from March 26 to rein in the rising cases of coronavirus infections, triggering the ADP implementation to nearly collapse in the following two months.
The ADP expenditure fell 38.79 % to Tk 16,581 crore in-may and 40.27 % to Tk 8,136 crore in April. The implementation was ramped up in June when the government lifted the shutdown.
The development expenditure finally came down to a 27-year low last fiscal year.
The slowing trend of development spending may continue in the current fiscal year as well because the cases of coronavirus infections are increasing.
Thirty-five people died from Covid-19 in Bangladesh within the last 24 hours, said the Directorate General of Health Services yesterday. The full total number of deaths has already reached 4,351.
Some 2,582 new infections were recorded, taking the full total number of individuals infected to 317,528.