Development spending rose 17.47 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year as the government forked out much of its own fund in the election year.
Between July and April, ministries and divisions expended Tk 97,030 crore, up from Tk 82,603 crore in the same period a year ago, according to data from the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division.
Spending from the government’s own coffer grew 29.65 percent to Tk 60,261 crore during the period, while foreign fund utilisation rose only 0.25 percent to Tk 31,862 crore.
Expenses by the state-owned enterprises went up more than 13 percent year-on-year to Tk 4,902 crore.
The scenario has been different since the beginning of the current fiscal year when it witnessed a slow pace. It picked up in November amid the fervour surrounding the parliamentary polls. A planning ministry official says the finance and planning ministries took some measures in the beginning of 2018-19 to boost spending under the annual development programme (ADP) and the measures started to come into effect from November.
Since November, the expenditure has averaged more than Tk 12,000 crore per month. This is contrast to Tk 6,216 crore posted in the preceding four months.
In June, the finance division empowered project directors to release funds in the first two quarters by themselves instead of waiting for approval from the ministries or divisions, an exercise that takes up two to three months.
Former planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, currently the finance minister, had met with the secretaries of ministries and divisions in August to inform them about the government’s position on speeding up the implementation of development projects in the election year.
Thanks to the initiatives, the ADP implementation will be higher this fiscal year, the official said.
However, the ministries and divisions are still lagging behind their targets.
ADP spending was 54.94 percent of the total outlay in the first 10 months, lower from 52.42 percent in the same period a year ago.
This left the government with a gigantic task: It will have to spend Tk 79,590 crore in May and June, or Tk 39,795 crore per month, if it wants to reach the revised ADP goal of Tk 176,620 crore.
Average monthly spending was Tk 9,703 crore between July and April.
The top performer was the science and technology ministry, which spent 71.36 percent of its ADP allocation. The power division expended 69.79 percent, the primary and mass education ministry 68.53 percent, the Prime Minister’s Office 61.99 percent, and the shipping ministry 60.78 percent.
Among the poor performers, the public security division managed to spend 23.07 percent of the allocation, followed by the railways ministry 39.98 percent, the secondary and higher education division 40.13 percent, the water resources ministry 46.96 percent, and the bridges division 48.44 percent.