Development spending made a slow start to the current fiscal year despite a government order aimed at beginning project implementation from the very first day of 2018-19.
In July, implementation under the annual development programme (ADP) was 0.57 percent of allocation, down from 0.58 percent in the first month of last fiscal year.
In terms of amount, the implementation rose 7.87 percent to Tk 1,027 crore in July, according to data from the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED).
However, it went up 37.17 percent during the same period last year.
During July in the last four years, the implementation of the ADP by the ministries and divisions was below 1 percent.
Though bigger ADP is taken every year, work can't be started from the beginning of the fiscal year.
This led the finance division to issue an amended guideline in June, saying all project directors can release the first and second quarter money of the development projects -- in a development that is expected to accelerate development work.
Previously, the project directors needed approval from concerned ministries or divisions -- an exercise that took two to three months.
A meeting on ADP implementation held with the planning minister in the chair discussed the issue in the second week of August.
Funds of many projects could not be spent even in July due to technical complexity, according to the working paper of the meeting.
As it is a new issue, the project director and the chief accounting officer lack necessary knowledge. As a result, they could not get the money released automatically, officials said.
August's meeting directed project officials to hold more meetings with the finance division.
The government set aside Tk 180,869 crore for development projects this fiscal year. Of the amount, the allocation for unapproved projects is Tk 9,550 crore.
The allocation for already approved projects is Tk 130,073 crore, which is 71.91 percent of the total allocation.
So, no project implementation should be delayed on the excuse of approval by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council, officials said.
Usually, ADP implementation is hindered in an election year.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal advised the secretaries to remain alert so that the ADP implementation is not hampered by election activities.
Senior officials of the IMED and the line ministries were advised to monitor project implementation at the field level.
According to IMED figures, Tk 189 crore, or 0.17 percent, of the government's own fund was spent in July. The government plans to spend Tk 113,000 crore from its own sources in the fiscal year. Foreign aid implementation was 1.12 percent, or Tk 674 crore, against the total of Tk 60,000 crore.