Tk9,626 crore or 4.48 percent of the total allocation for the Annual Development Programme was spent during the first two months of the current fiscal year
Different ministries and divisions have not been able to come out of the tendency of slow progress in implementing the Annual Development Programme (ADP) at the start of the year.
According to the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the planning ministry, Tk9,626 crore or 4.48 percent of the total allocation for the Annual Development Programme was spent during the first two months of the current fiscal year.
The IMED report waiting for publication said that 3.49 percent of the Annual Development Programme fund was spent in the first two months of the last fiscal year, 5.19 percent in the same period of fiscal 2017-18 and 3.86 percent in the first two months of the fiscal year before that.
Around 45 to 48 percent of the ADP allocations is spent in the last two months of every fiscal year to exceed 90 percent of spending.
Economists opine against the slow progress of the development spending at the beginning of a fiscal year and spending more money in the last part of the fiscal year. It has become a malpractice.
Due to the abnormal speed in the project work at the end of the year, quality of the work cannot be maintained. As a result, on many occasions a large amount of money is wasted, said the economists.
To come out of this practice following the recommendations from economists, different initiatives have been taken including sending the money for the whole year to the project directors all at once.
Planning Minister MA Mannan held several meetings with the secretaries of different divisions and project implementing agencies in this regard. He also visited divisional headquarters to ensure the monitoring of project works.
Apart from the IMED, the Economic Relations Division (ERD) have regularly been organising tripartite meetings to speed up the project implementation.
Due to the initiatives, MA Mannan hoped that in future the situation will improve. He told The Business Standard that the government aimed to achieve 100 percent implementation of the annual development programme.
"I myself have been visiting the field level works," said the minister.
He also said that he would visit Rajshahi division at the end of this week and Chattogram at the beginning of the next week.
However, IMED Secretary Abul Mansur MD Faizullah expressed a bit of disappointment at the non-cooperation by other ministries. He said plans for implementing the development works in three months were sought from all ministries but only four of them responded.
The Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division sent letters to the officials of different ministries and project directors but expected result was not achieved.
He, however, claimed that project works progress slowly in the first two months of the fiscal year because of the time taken for the formalities in getting approval for the amendments in the project documents and purchase orders. Adverse weather and rainfall also delay the project works.
Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, former governor of Bangladesh Bank, said this is an old problem in Bangladesh. At the beginning of a fiscal year, project works do not progress and at the end of the year it is done quickly which harms the quality of the work.
Planning commission sources said of the Tk2,15,114 crore stipulated for the ADP of the current fiscal year, Tk1,30,921 crore has been allotted from the government's own resources, Tk71,800 crore from foreign assistance and Tk12,393 crore from the funds of the implementing agencies.
In the first two months of the fiscal year, Tk7,114 crore or 5.43 percent of the allocation has been spent from the government's own fund. Besides, Tk2,250 crore was spent from the foreign assistance and Tk262 crore from the fund of the implementing agencies.