In contrast to high hopes for an economic recovery from the pandemic, the government’s development expenditure slipped to the lowest level in five years in the first seven months, suggest latest official data.
Some ADP implementing agencies are yet to recoup corona losses and gain the pre-Covid 19 momentum, while some are grappling with some specific problems like tendering delay.Overall all ADP execution rate dipped to 28.45 percent during July-January period of ongoing FY21 from 32.07 percent in the same period in FY20 that saw a tough time with the virus onslaught, suggest latest implementation monitoring & evaluation division (IMED) data.
The highest rate for the period was recorded at 34.43 percent in FY19 when there was no such pandemic like situation. The volume of expenditure fell year-on-year by Tk 79.31 billion or 11.50 percent compared to Tk 610.49 billion expenditure during the first seven months of FY20.
Even, it was Tk 12.34 billion or 1.98 percent lower than that of FY19’s July-January period.
Monthly ADP data suggest that implementing agencies managed to spend Tk 97.82 billion or 4.56 percent of total ADP outlay in the month of January, down from Tk 117.84 billion or 5.48 percent monthly ADP expenditure one year ago.
The monthly trend suggests that execution of the government’s development budget is yet to return to the level before corona pandemic that severely squeezed development work amid two-month lockdown from late March to May last year.
Many large projects faced a setback after foreign project experts and workers left the country or got stuck in their own countries because of health safety issues.Against this backdrop, the government, however, announced a Tk 2146.11 billion Annual Development Programme (ADP), Tk 94.66 billion own budget of public corporations, for the current fiscal year starting from July 01 with a hope for a quick economic recovery.
Not only that, the government had projected an 8.2 percent GDP growth this fiscal like FY20 even though last fiscal’s growth declined to 5.24 percent.
Recently, the government has lowered the growth estimate to 7.4 percent for FY21, sensing the ground reality.
Bleak performance of some ministries and divisions played the major role in bringing down overall ADP performance even after seven months have elapsed in FY21, said IMED Secretary Pradip Ranjan Chakraborty.
IMED data showed that nine ministries or divisions have implemented 15 percent ADP so far, while Internal Resources Division (IRD) managed below 2 percent rate as it has been struggling to resolve tendering issue.
Pradip said IMED has already discussed the issue with secretaries of the line ministries to spur ADP implementation.
About January’s fall in progress, he argued that many projects expired in December, which were waiting in January for project time extension.
In the period, local resource utilization rate also hit five-year low at 29.22 percent rate with Tk 393.42 billion spending from this segment, which was as high as 35.96 percent with Tk 470.83 billion expenditure in FY20.
Project assistance, on the other hand, improved modestly to 28.39 percent or Tk 200.12 billion from Tk 27.96 percent or Tk 200.73 billion a year earlier. Top 15 ministries or divisions that fetched nearly 82 percent ADP money managed to post 29.67 percent ADP implementation rate during July-January period with power division taking the top position with 37.78 percent rate.
PMO could post 35.05 percent ADP execution rate followed by 34.47 percent posting of industries ministry, 34.03 percent of primary and mass education ministry, 31.70 percent of secondary and higher education division 31.59 percent of water resources ministry, 30.69 percent of both local government division and shipping ministry.