Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has enquired about the huge sum of unused foreign aid in the pipeline at yesterday's meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council.
She directed the relevant ministry to inform her of the actual amount of unused aid and why it was sitting in the pipeline, planning ministry officials said.
Foreign aid disbursement stood at a record $3 billion last fiscal year, but $19.06 billion of aid still remained unused in the pipeline, according to the Economic Relations Division.
When asked by reporters after the Ecnec meeting about the figure, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said: “It is not correct. It will be much less than that quoted in the media.”
He further said the ERD would prepare a report on how much foreign aid was left unused last fiscal year within the next week.
In fiscal 2013-14, $5.84 billion of fresh commitments were made, and $16.62 billion of unused aid was carried over into the fiscal year.
The Daily Star in its report yesterday mistakenly mentioned that on June 30, 2013 the amount of foreign aid in the pipeline was $18.47 billion as opposed to $16.62 billion.
When the disbursed amount of $3 billion is deducted from $16.62 billion and the fresh commitment of $5.84 billion is added, aid in the pipeline at the beginning of this fiscal year comes to $19.06 billion.
However, the finance minister said the foreign aid does not go straight to the pipeline after the signing of the agreement with the development partners.
It is included in the pipeline after the loan is activated, and some loans take longer to mobilise than the others.