Health division spends only 26pc of ADP outlay | The Daily Star
10:02 PM, May 16, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:14 PM, May 16, 2021

Health division spends only 26pc of ADP outlay

Despite giving special focus on the health sector, the government could implement only 26 per cent of the sector's Annual Development Programme in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.

Out of the Tk 11,979 crore allocation against 53 projects, the Health Services Division could spend only Tk 3,050 crore during the July-April period.

Most of the projects were taken for health infrastructure development projects.

Of the 53, two coronavirus-related projects involving Tk 2,492 crore were taken in April 2020.

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) gave $100 million each for the two projects.

The government could spend only $20 million of the ADB fund until April this year and $37 million of the World Bank fund until March, according to the officials of the Economic Relations Division.

The change of a project director, the director general of the health services division and a health secretary in the last one year also played a role in slowing down the implementation rate, according to a planning ministry official.

Moreover, the implementation was delayed because of separate procurement rules of the government and the development partners.

The rate of implementation of the Covid-related projects are rising now thanks to the relaxations of some of the rules, the official added.

The health sector is not efficient to implement the project and the ADP, said Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh.

The sector is not corruption-free and not transparent in procurement related activities, he said.

He suggested implementing health related projects with the help of experts instead of doctors.

He also recommended allocating Tk 16,000 crore for vaccine procurement in the next year and implement the vaccination programme smoothly.

Otherwise, proper and rapid implementation will not be ensured in the health sector, Mansur noted.

In the 10 months to April this year, only 49 per cent or Tk 102,730 crore of the total outlay of Tk 209,272 crore was spent.

In the last fiscal year, the rate of implementation was the same with the spending hitting Tk 98,841 crore.

Development spending was picking up pace since January after a bumpy ride in the first half of the fiscal year.

The average monthly implementation rate in the first nine months of the fiscal since July was at 4.66 per cent.

Following more than two months of a countrywide shutdown till June last year, movement restrictions were gradually lifted and activities started returning to pre-pandemic level by October.

The monthly ADP implementation rate reached 7.17 per cent in April when the expenditure stood at Tk 14,996 crore while it was Tk 8,136 crore in the same month last fiscal year.

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