With several railway projects having slowed down as their Chinese engineers are yet to return from their homeland, fund allocation for the ministry has also decreased by Tk2,350 crore in the revised ADP for this fiscal year.
According to Planning Commission sources, allocations for 35 out of 58 ministries and divisions have been slashed in the revised Annual Development Programme for the fiscal year 2019-20.
Allocations from internal sources dropped for 34 ministries and divisions and foreign aid for 30.
The government has trimmed the total fund allocation in the ADP by 4.83 percent to Tk192,921 crore. However, it left allocations from its own purse nearly unchanged as foreign aid has shrunk.
Foreign aid decreased by Tk9,800 crore in the revised ADP for the current fiscal year.
Government fund was Tk130,921 crore against the original ADP of Tk202,721 crore for the current fiscal year. Foreign aid was to meet remaining Tk71,800 crore.
The allocation for the health sector witnessed a fall of Tk2,208 crore, of which some Tk2,127 crore comes from internal sources and Tk81 crore from foreign aid.
As construction of the Padma Bridge and the Karnaphuli tunnel has been going slow owing to the outbreak of coronavirus, the fund allocation for the Bridges Division has dropped by Tk1,808 crore.
Besides, the Power Division saw a fall of Tk2,248 crore in allocation while it has been proposed a cut of Tk1,584 crore in allocation for the road transport division.
Planning Commission officials said the allocations proposed for the ministries and divisions got primary approval at an extended meeting of the commission today. The final approval will come from a meeting of the National Economic Council which is supposed to be held this month.
Secretary to the Planning Division Nurul Amin said many ministries and divisions are returning ADP allocations due to slow implementation while many others seek funds. "For this reason, the government allocation in the ADP does not fall," he said.
The NEC meeting presided over by the prime minister will decide on allocating funds for the ministries and divisions which are in need.
If the prime minister wants, the allocation will see rise as per demands, Nurul added.
The demand for foreign aid is low because of conditions set by the foreign development partners. The government has already decided to slash foreign aid by Tk9,800 crore.
This time many projects have also been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Some measures have been taken to overcome the slowdown in project works.
A project cannot be implemented within a stipulated time for various reasons such as land acquisition, tender complexities, delay in the process of approving funds by development partners and lack of implementation capacity, he said.
"The government allocation in the revised ADP does not fall, rather it rises sometimes," said former World Bank lead economist in Dhaka Dr Zahid Hussain.
"But foreign aid keeps slipping in revised ADP owing to ambiguous aid projection in the original ADP," he said.
Dr Zahid further said both the government and foreign development partners have their own guidelines for fund disbursement. These policies often collide, and donors in some projects win in the end.
But such impasses linger fund disbursements.
Dr Zahid said, "ADP implementation needs handsome allocation from the government where revenue collection has a major role. But this year's dull collection has already put the government into excess bank borrowing in its yearly target."
Dr Zahid said internal loans may mount up further if foreign aid use does not spiral.