Officials concerned expected a higher allocation in light of the coronavirus crisis
Bangladesh’s health sector is likely to witness an increased amount of around Tk800 crore, the lowest monetary allocation in terms of increase, in the upcoming Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
According to official sources, the allocation for the health sector in the running fiscal year’s ADP is Tk12,236 crore and will be Tk13,033 crore in the next one, meaning that the enhancement in the allocation will only be Tk797 crore, reports UNB.
This allocation is being made at a time when the vulnerability of the country's health sector was exposed with the Covid-19 onslaught.
Seeking anonymity, an official said: “A much bigger increase in the allocation for the health sector was expected.”
The Ministry of Planning has finalised its draft for the allocation and it will be placed before the National Economic Council (NEC) for final approval where the prime minister is the chairperson.
Ministry sources said there are 57 ongoing projects under the Health Services Division and the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division.
A coronavirus-related project was approved last month on special consideration. Other than this, no new project from the Health Ministry was approved for the next ADP. As a result, the current projects of the ministry will get the allocation for the next fiscal year.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said: “A larger amount should have been allocated. However, it is not entirely up to me as there are some other stakeholders. The decision will be taken at the meeting on Tuesday.”
NEC’s extended meeting to finalize the ADP draft will be held on Tuesday, the minister informed.
“I’ll express my opinion in that meeting and other stakeholders will give theirs,” he added.
As per the system, respective ministries or divisions formulate their development projects and then sends them to the planning minister for the final approval.
The ADP allocation for health sector in the current fiscal year (2019-20) is Tk12,236 crore, while it was Tk10,809 crore in 2018-19 and Tk8,690 crore in 2017-18.
According to the Planning Ministry, the total size of the ADP will be Tk2,05,145 crore where the transport sector will get the highest allocation with more than Tk50,000 crore, while the power sector will get around Tk25,00 crore, and the education sector about Tk23,000 crore.
A senior official at the Planning Ministry said it takes plenty of time to get approval for a project as it goes through various types of scrutiny, but the health sector will get non-development allocation rather than the development one.