The government will allocate Tk 47,283 crore to 12 mega projects, including those on the fast-track list, from the development budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The outlay will account for a fifth of the total annual development programme (ADP) for FY2021-22.
The new allocation for the mega projects is 11.94 per cent higher than the original allocation of Tk 42,239 crore in the current fiscal year and about 49 per cent higher than the revised budget of Tk 31,742 crore.
Although the government has raised the budget for the projects in the original ADP of FY21 compared to the year before, the implementation has slowed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Planning ministry officials said that most development works were hampered by the Covid-19 fallout as many foreign consultants and engineers engaged with the projects either left the country or were unable to return after a few became infected.
"That is why the allocation for some projects was slashed in the revised ADP," said one official.
The present scenario may change in the coming months as the government has taken measures to fight the deadly virus, including rolling out the vaccination programme, which prompted the authorities to plan for a higher development budget for FY22.
The size of the next ADP could be Tk 225,324 crore, which is 14 per cent higher than the revised budget. The proposal will be placed during the meeting of the National Economic Council today for final approval.
The government's fast-track project list consists of nine projects, of which the implementation of an LNG terminal was completed, and the Moitree Super Thermal Power Plant project is not being funded under the ADP.
The seven other projects that got ADP allocations include Padma bridge, metro rail, Padma bridge rail link, Dohazari-Cox's Bazar-Gundum rail line, Rooppur nuclear power plant, Matarbari power plant, and Payra deep seaport.
Five more mega projects are also being funded by the ADP: new metro rail projects -- the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Line- 1 and Line -5, Bangabandhu railway bridge over the Jamuna, Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated expressway, and Karnaphuli Tunnel.
The government plans to include the five projects on the fast-track list. The fast-track projects are usually monitored by the Prime Minister's Office.
"If any problem arises during implementation, it is sorted out immediately from the highest level, ensuring speedy implementation," said a senior official of the planning ministry.
The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant may be given the highest allocation of Tk 18,426 crore in FY22 against the current year's original allocation of Tk 15,691 crore and the revised allocation of Tk 10,167 crore.
Of the estimated total cost of Tk 113,093 crore, Tk 34,213 crore was spent as of November last year.
The Matarbari Coal-based Power Plant came second as it may get Tk 6,162 crore in the new ADP. Of the project cost of Tk 35,984 crore, Tk 14,447 crore was spent as of November.
The Padma Bridge project is to get Tk 3,500 crore, which was Tk 5,000 crore in the original budget and Tk 2,099 crore in the revised ADP.
There was a proposal to allocate Tk 5,000 crore for the Padma bridge project in FY22. But during a tri-party meeting of the finance, planning and line ministries, it was decided that Tk 3,500 crore would be set aside after reviewing the requirement.
However, the finance ministry has assured that more money would be made available in the revised budget if required.
The project's cost had been estimated at Tk 30,193 crore, and until November, Tk 23,975 crore was spent, according to the planning ministry.
It is assumed that around Tk 25,000 crore would be spent by the end of this fiscal.
The deadline for completing the bridge has been extended to June next year. The government hopes to inaugurate it on June 23, 2022, on the founding anniversary of the ruling Awami League.
The Dhaka Metro Rail project may get an allocation of Tk 3,800 crore against the current fiscal's original allocation of Tk 5,543 crore. It has remained the same in the revised ADP.
Of the project cost of Tk 21,985 crore, a total of Tk 12,040 crore was utilised as of November.
The country's first metro rail system under the project "Mass Rapid Transit Line-6 (MRT-6) is being built from the capital's Uttara to Motijheel.
The inaugural performance test on MRT-6 started on May 11. It may take six months to a year to complete the remaining tests.
The project's original implementation period was 2012 to 2024. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina later directed the concerned authorities to make metro services from Uttara to Agargaon operational by 2019 and Agargaon to Motijheel by 2020.
That deadline was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. The authorities are hopeful about completing the project ahead of 2024.
The government will allocate Tk 3,823 crore for the Padma Bridge Rail Link, the largest project of Bangladesh Railway, up from the revised allocation of Tk 1,495 crore.
The completion deadline for the Tk 39,246 crore project was extended to June 30, 2024, two years more than the original tenure.
Of the project cost, Tk 14,671 crore was used until November, with 31 per cent progress in physical works.
The Dohazari-Gundum rail line is to get Tk 1,425 crore, while two projects on the Payra deep seaport may receive a combined Tk 570 crore.
The new metro rail projects will get Tk 1,200 crore, Bangabandhu rail bridge Tk 3,580 crore, Dhaka-Ashulia elevated expressway Tk 3,227 crore, and Karnaphuli Tunnel Tk 1,650 crore in the next ADP.