Published in Observer on Thursday, 15 October 2015.
Experts against last-minute budget spending
7 pc ADP execution in Q1
The implementation of projects under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) has been merely 7 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (2015-16), which is a four-fiscal year low, according to the Planning Commission.
Dr Zahid Hossain, Chief Economist at World Bank’s Dhaka office, said, “The number of projects taken up this fiscal year is more than the projects required, as usual, of which some are small ones. Such projects are taken up for political motive, so, there is no speed in project implementation.”
He also pointed out that the project directors finish their work quickly at the end of the fiscal year, leading to a huge loss for the national exchequer.
Records show the ADP execution rate was 9 per cent during the July-October period of the previous fiscal year. Usually, such rate hovers around 10 per cent in the first four months of a financial year, and then it goes fastest in the last quarter (March-June).
The Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) has listed ADP implementation of 53 ministries and divisions, which shows these ministries and divisions have spent Tk 6 thousand 801 crore in the first quarter of FY 2015-16.
Among the 53, 38 implemented from zero to 10 per cent, 13 from 11 to 20 per cent and two above 20 per cent of their entire development allocations.
Of the amount spent during the period, Tk4,901 crore came from the government fund, Tk1,601 crore from foreign aid and Tk304 crore from public entities’ own fund.
Shohid Ullah Khandoker, IMED’s Secretary, said the Planning Ministry wants the ADP projects implemented expeditiously, as manifested during the Planning Minister’s series of parleys with project directors.
Officials said the total money set aside for ADP this fiscal is Tk100,997 crore, which was Tk 78,000 crore last fiscal year. At the end of the last fiscal year, Tk 71,139 crore was spent and the rate of implementation was 91 per cent, although the year was battered by persistent political turmoil.
In FY 2013-14, such implementation rate was 93 per cent.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman, independent think-tank CPD’s Executive Director, said, “It’s a long-time practice that at the beginning of the year the ministries and divisions don’t show interest in implementing the ADP. But at the end of the year they spend the budget quickly.”
“It affects the quality of the projects badly,” he observed.