ADP spending rises in Dec
Development spending picked up in December amid the fervour surrounding parliamentary polls on December 30 after being on the slow lane in the first four months of fiscal 2018-19.
A planning ministry official said, actually the finance and the planning ministries took some measures from the start of the current fiscal year to boost ADP implementation, which started to come into effect from November.
The official said the political leadership was busy with electioneering but the government machinery involved with development administration did their job properly for increasing development spending.
In December Tk 13,207 crore was spent from the annual development programme (ADP), which was Tk 12,623 crore in November.
This is in contrast to the Tk 6,216 crore spent on average by the ministries and divisions in the previous four months of fiscal 2018-19.
ADP implementation in the preceding four months was lower than that of each month last year.
Development spending in December of last fiscal year was Tk 11,334 crore and in November it 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 six months of the fiscal year to 27.4 percent, up from 27.02 percent a year earlier.
The ministries and divisions spent Tk 49,645 crore against a total outlay of Tk 180,869 crore in the July-December period.
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.
Former planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, who is now the finance minister, 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, ADP implementation in the current fiscal year will be higher than in fiscal 2017-18, said the planning ministry official.
Of the total amount spent in the first six months, Tk 28,905 crore came from the government's own funds, which is 25.58 percent of what the government intends to spend this fiscal year.
The implementation of the government's own funds a year earlier was 23.42 percent.
Some Tk 17,834 crore was spent from foreign aid, which is 29.72 percent of the allocation. At this point a year earlier, foreign aid utilisation was 32.97 percent of the total outlay.
This time performance of state-owned enterprises improved. They spent Tk 2,905 crore in the first six months of the fiscal year, which is 36.92 percent of their allocation. It was only 25.12 percent a year earlier.
The best performers this fiscal year were the energy and mineral resources division (55.55 percent), power division (44.44 percent), science and technology ministry (47.03 percent), local government division (31.21 percent) and shipping ministry (36.63 percent).
The poor performers were the railways ministry (9.80 percent), bridges division (19.93 percent), healthcare division (22.80 percent), road transport and highways division (21.46 percent) and primary and higher education division (16.68 percent).