The Ecnec approves 10 projects involving an associated estimated cost of over Tk9,460 crore, with each lawmaker outside city corporation areas to get Tk20 crore in allocation
Bangladesh has seen the lowest implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) in the last one decade during the first 11 months of the outgoing fiscal year, with the percentage being slightly over 57 percent.
From July 2019 to May 2020, only Tk115,421 crore could be spent in total to implement the revised ADP allocation, with May alone seeing a release of a whopping over Tk16,580 crore despite a stagnation in works due to the Covid-19 crisis.
According to a review report of the planning ministry's Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Department (IMED), the ADP implementation rate in the country never fell below 62 percent during the first 11 months of any fiscal year since 2010-11, while it reached a maximum of 72 percent.
The IMED report for the 2019-20 fiscal year was presented by Planning Minister MA Mannan at a press briefing following the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday.
The Ecnec meeting was held at the National Economic Council at the Sher-E-Bangla Nagar area in the capital, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presiding over it through videoconferencing from her official residence Ganobhaban.
According to the IMED's ADP implementation progress report, the ADP implementation was nearly 68 percent in the first 11 months of the last financial year.
Alongside a drop in the percentage of ADP implementation this time, the actual expenditure also reduced by Tk4,622 crore compared to that in the last fiscal year, said the IMED.
In the virtual press briefing, the planning minister said there was little progress in the work in four months this year because of the coronavirus, resulting in a poor implantation rate compared to that in other years.
When asked why over Tk16,000 crore was released as the work was stopped in May, MA Mannan said it usually takes extra time for contractors to get the money against their work bills. A large amount of ADP was implemented in May as the money against the bills submitted earlier was released.
Due to the slow pace of ADP implementation, the original ADP was revised down by Tk13,915 crore after half the current fiscal year had elapsed.
Yet, the ADP implantation failed to accumulate pace because of the coronavirus crisis.
According to the IMED review, the government will have to spend around Tk85,778 crore in the last month of fiscal year 2019-20 to reach the target of 100 percent ADP implementation, which is impossible in the present context.
As a result, a large part of the ADP allocation will be returned this fiscal year.
10 projects worth over Tk9460cr passed
The minister said in the briefing that the Ecnec, in yesterday's meeting, approved 10 development projects with associated estimated cost of over Tk9,460 crore. The government will finance all of the projects from its own fund.
Among the approved projects, "Third Important Rural Infrastructure Development Project on Priority Basis" will cost over Tk6,479 crore while Tk5,600 crore will be allocated for 280 lawmakers out of the city corporation areas to develop infrastructure.
Each of the lawmakers will have a provision to identify and select development activities worth Tk20 crore for the next five years.
Construction of 305 kilometres of upazila roads, development of 360 kilometres of union roads and 5,075 kilometres of rural roads, maintenance of 1,090 kilometres of rural roads and construction of 7,992 metres of bridges and culverts will be done under the project, said the planning minister.
The Ecnec approved another project to renovate 100 MG carriage of the railways in order to increase the availability of rolling stock with cost of over Tk74 crore.
A sum of more than Tk557 crore would be spent to implement a project titled "Development of Sustainable Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Management System in the Haor Areas".
The Ecnec approved six fresh projects and revision proposals of four ongoing projects.
Estimated cost of these revised projects is more than Tk2,114 crore, which was over Tk1,354crore in the original proposal.
Four projects will require almost Tk760 crore extra as they were not implemented in the predefined tenure.