Government spending on projects under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) reached 1.27 per cent in the first month of FY2023-24, which is a much faster pace compared to year-on-year.
In terms of expenditure, the government – in the month of July – spent 42 per cent or Tk 1,034.05 crore more than the figure posted in the same month last year. The ADP implementation was 0.96 per cent in FY23, and 1.14 per cent in FY22.
During July of FY24, the Local Government Division spent Tk 1,253 crore, and the Road Transport and Highways Division spent Tk 571.69 crore, the highest and second highest in the expenditure list.
For the ongoing FY, the government allocated Tk 2,74,674.02 crore, and they managed to spend Tk 3489.09 crore in July.
However, expenditure of ten ministries and government entities’ was zero during the period, show data from the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) released on Tuesday.
In the current FY, 58 ministries and divisions are implementing 1,392 projects and the Security Services Division of the Home Ministry spent the highest 14.20 per cent of their allocations so far.
It should be noted that fourteen ministries and divisions did not get any funds released for their project implementations. At least five of a list of 15 ministries, who got lion’s share from the ADP, did not get any funds released in the current FY for the implementation of their project.
On the issue, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said, “I believe that the ADP implementation for this FY has started well. It is better than the starting month of the previous two fiscal years.
“Our key concern is taming inflation. If we can do that, the end result will be better.”
Economic hardships triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, and subsequent Ukraine-Russia war have pushed Bangladesh towards austerity measures. “But we are recovering steadily,” Dr Alam added.
According to the state minister, if ADP is implemented properly and prices of goods are stabilised, it would help the Awami League led government to gain public confidence before the upcoming national polls.
Dr Zahid Hussain, former lead economist of the World Bank Dhaka office, said, “The implementation rate of ADP this July is high compared to the previous years.
“The government is spending on road transports, communication and local government projects, which is a good sign. If these projects turn locally beneficial for the people, this will be good for the economy as well.”
If there is no political unrest centering the upcoming national polls, the ADP implementation rate will remain satisfactory for the current FY, he added.
The government managed to implement 84.16 per cent of the ADP in FY23, which is 8.58 percentage points lower than the previous year. In FY22, the total ADP implementation was 92.74 per cent.
The previous FY’s overall ADP implementation rate was affected by a number of factors, including the rising cost of construction materials, government's austerity measures for project spending, and the economic conditions that limited funds for some projects, say IMED officials.