Development spending has finally picked up pace in November amidst the frenzy surrounding the polls on December 30 after being on the slow lane in the first four months of fiscal 2018-19.
In November Tk 12,623 crore was spent from the annual development programme (ADP) budget, in contrast to the average of Tk 6,216 crore managed by the ministries and divisions in the previous four months of fiscal 2018-19.
The ADP implementation in the preceding four months was lower than last year on every month.
Development spending in November last year was Tk 9,182 crore, according to data from the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division.
Last month's expenditure takes the ADP implementation in the first five months of the fiscal year to 20.15 percent, up from 20.11 percent a year earlier.
The ministries and divisions spent Tk 36,438 crore against the total outlay of Tk 180,869 crore in the July-November period.
“The upcoming election had no impact on development spending,” said Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday while releasing the ADP implementation data.
Development spending in the first five months of the fiscal year was a record high.
Thanks to improvement in implementation, the GDP growth this fiscal year would be 8.25 to 8.30 percent, he added.
In June, the finance division empowered the project directors to release the first two quarters' funds by themselves instead of waiting for approval from the ministries or divisions, an exercise that takes up two to three months.
Kamal also met with secretaries of different ministries and divisions in early August to inform them about the government's position on speeding up implementation of development projects in the election year.
Due to the initiatives, the ADP implementation in the current fiscal year will be higher than in fiscal 2017-18, said a high official of the planning ministry.
Of the total amount spent in the first five months, Tk 21,214 crore came from the government's own funds, which is 18.77 percent of what the government intends to spend this fiscal year. The implementation of the government's own funds a year earlier was 18.55 percent.
Some Tk 12,971 crore was spent from foreign aid, which is 21.61 percent of the allocation. At this point a year earlier, foreign aid utilisation was 22.59 percent of the total outlay.
This time the performance of state-owned enterprises improved: they spent Tk 2,253 crore in the first five months of the fiscal year, which is 21.93 percent of their allocation.
It was only 20.31 percent a year earlier.