Record Tk 570b project aid likely in next fiscal’s ADP

Dhaka,  Sat,  23 September 2017
Published : 18 Apr 2017, 22:34:42

Record Tk 570b project aid likely in next fiscal’s ADP

Rooppur plant to eat up significant amount of external funds
FHM Humayan Kabir

The government is likely to allocate a record Tk 570 billion project aid (PA) for the next fiscal year's development budget.

The Rooppur power plant alone will eat up a significant amount of the external funds, officials said Monday.

Officials said the Rooppur project alone has been given more than Tk 80 billion allocation which has led to rise in the proposed size of the PA by 73 per cent for the next financial year (FY) 2017-18 compared to the current fiscal's outlay.

The government allocated Tk 330 billion foreign aid (project aid) in the Revised Annual Development Programme (RADP) of the current FY2016-17.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) officials said they have proposed to allocate highest Tk 93.47 billion funds to the Power Division followed by the Science and Technology Ministry's Tk 82.75 billion.

"The Rooppur nuke power plant project has sought a significant amount of funds followed by some power plants and transport sector projects. So, the allocation of PA for the next fiscal has swelled," said Farida Nasreen, additional secretary of the ERD.

Besides, some projects in the power and transport sectors have also received higher allocations in the upcoming budget, prompting the finance ministry to prepare a ballooning PA for the next national budget, she said.

She said they hope the ministries would implement the projects in time and spend their allocated funds properly.

Ms Farida Nasreen said they have finalised the project aid outlay that comes from external sources for implementing development projects in a bid to finalise the national budget preparation works.

"We have already sent the external resource allocations to the Planning Commission (PC) for finalising the ADP for the next FY2017. Now the PC will prepare the ADP incorporating the external funds," she told the FE.

"Before finalising the PA outlay, we have consulted all the government ministries and agencies on their requirements for implementing the projects in the next year ADP. Then we sent the total outlay to the PC," she said.

The PC has been working for the last couple of months to finalise the ADP for the next fiscal incorporating external resources with outlay from the government's own resources in the ADP for the next FY2018.

It has already been reported that the total ADP outlay with donor-supported project aid and funds from the government's own resources in the upcoming national budget is likely to be nearly Tk 1.53 trillion.  

Project aid means allocations in the ADP coming from different bilateral and multilateral development partners for executing development projects aimed at improving infrastructure and cutting poverty.

The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan, and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) are the major project aid suppliers for the development works in Bangladesh.

ERD officials said after power and science ministries, the Road Transport Division has received the third highest funds at nearly Tk 76.55 billion, the railway ministry about Tk 76.46 billion, and the Local Government Division the fourth largest with Tk 76.02 billion as PA in the next ADP.

The ERD officials said they have raised the project aid allocation by 73 per cent to Tk 570 billion for the next development budget from Tk 330 billion outlay in the current year RADP while 42.5 per cent higher than the original Tk 400 billion allocations of the ADP.

In the original Tk 1.107 trillion ADP for the current FY2017, the government allocated Tk 400 billion as project aid. Later, the ADP was revised decreasing the amount to Tk 330 billion.

Another ERD official said poor project execution by ministries and divisions had prompted them to cut foreign aid spending by nearly 17.5 per cent to Tk 330 billion for the current development programme.

During the first three quarters (July-March) of the current FY2017, the government agencies spent only 42 per cent of the current year's RADP.

Finance minister AMA Muhith has already hinted that the total outlay for the next year's budget is likely to be Tk 4.0 trillion.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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