Around Tk 1.5 trillion would come from local sources
The Annual Development Program (ADP) for the 2021-22 fiscal year will prioritise the transport, education, health, and agriculture sectors with a view to offsetting the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Planning Commission and Planning Ministry sources, the size of the ADP in the upcoming budget is likely to be around Tk 2.13 trillion- just over a third of what is shaping up to be a Tk6 trillion finance bill.
Of the total ADP, around Tk 1.5 trillion would come from local sources while the remaining Tk630 billion is expected to come from foreign sources.
Some adjustments in the size and sources may be made when the National Economic Council (NEC) approves the final ADP for the next fiscal year.
The number of projects to be included in the ADP for FY2021-22 is around 1900, including 1480 investment projects.
For the FY2020-21, which expires on June 30, the government is working with an ADP of Tk2.05 trillion, giving the highest priority to the transport sector.
Of the original ADP, Tk1.35 trillion was slated to come from local sources and Tk705.02 billion from foreign sources.
The number of projects in the ADP was 1584 to start with, including 1456 investment projects, 127 technical assistant projects, and one project from the Japan Debt Cancellation Fund (JDCF). Besides, there were 89 projects from autonomous bodies and corporations.
The National Economic Council (NEC) in March approved a revised ADP of Tk1.98 trillion, downsizing it by around Tk75 billion.
The entire reduction was down to a cut in the foreign funding, which came down to Tk 630 billion from Tk 705 billion.
The NEC also approved Tk 116.28 billion for 101 projects from autonomous bodies and corporations.
According to Planning Ministry sources, the NEC might approve the ADP for the next fiscal year by the second week of next month.
A senior official of the ministry admitted that there would be some difficulties in implementing the next ADP due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. He said physical work on various development projects have slowed down since the pandemic arrived in March last year.
He mentioned that the paperwork for a project can be done from home or office, but not the physical work. "The ongoing projects will be greatly affected if this situation continues."
The official said that internal resource mobilization would be another problem, as most business activities have been greatly affected by the pandemic.
"If revenue collection does not go on in full swing, it will create obstacles to project implementation," he said.
Without proper collection of resources, he said, it would be difficult to allocate money to old and new projects.
Meanwhile, the government has divided its ongoing development projects into three prioritised categories (high, medium and low) for monitoring and budget allocation.
"The government has made the list aiming to better at monitor the ongoing projects under the ADP," the Planning Ministry official said.
In the past, the government used to give importance to all projects equally, and there were some mega projects as well.
"We will allocate for the high priority projects first - like to the health and agriculture sectors. These sectors will get the highest attention," he said.
Furthermore, the government is working with a four-pronged strategy to tackle the coronavirus crisis: increasing public expenditure with priority for employment generation, formulating stimulus packages for reviving economic activities, helping workers to keep their jobs, and maintaining competitiveness among entrepreneurs.
The government is also looking to expand social safety net programs to ensure the basic needs of people living under the poverty line, and to look out for non-institutionally engaged and day labourers so that they do not fall through the cracks.