Transport, power to take centre stage in budget Development budget to be raised 14.56pc to Tk 1.81 lakh croreThe planning ministry is likely to propose a Tk 1.81 lakh crore development budget for next fiscal year, giving emphasis on accelerating the construction works of some flagship infrastructure projects like the Padma bridge, Rooppur power plant and Dhaka metro rail. The amount is 14.56 percent higher than current year’s Tk 1.58 lakh crore. The government will give emphasis to the transport and power sectors in fiscal 2018-19, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told The Daily Star. “At this moment we need these sectors’ development for achieving higher growth,” he said, adding that the private sector would be booming if the two sectors’ capacities are enhanced. He went on to state that the allocation is implementable and it would help to achieve 8.1 percent GDP growth next fiscal year. The new Annual Development Programme layout will be placed at the meeting of the National Economic Council on Thursday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who will chair the meeting, may increase the allocation if the demands of various ministries and divisions are deemed logical, according to planning ministry officials. There was a plan to complete the Padma bridge by December this year, but it may now be delayed by six to seven months, said an official of the planning ministry. Even then, a big allocation would have to be made against the project next fiscal year. This fiscal year, Tk 4,000 crore has been allocated for the Padma bridge, and as of January Tk 700-800 crore has been spent, so it is highly unlikely that the entire amount would be exhausted by June 30, he said. The total estimated cost of the project is Tk 28,793 crore and as of March, 53 percent of the sum has been used. “To complete the project by 2019 a big allocation has to be given for it,” he added. It is the same story for the Padma rail link project: Tk 7,609 crore has been allocated for the project this fiscal year but in the first five months only Tk 121 crore was used. The start of the project was delayed and will finally start in earnest in the next one month. As a result, a big allocation is being made to the project in the next fiscal year. Big chunks must also be earmarked for the Rooppur power plant, Dhaka metro rail, Karnaphuli tunnel and Matarbari coal-based power plant projects as well in fiscal 2018-19. Though there were some problems in the initial stage, work for the projects is well under way. In the upcoming ADP, the government’s own fund may be increased 16.59 percent to Tk 1.13 lakh crore and foreign fund 15.27 percent to Tk 60,000 crore. The allocation for the state-owned enterprises would be Tk 7,869 crore, down 14.59 percent from the current year. In the proposed ADP, the transport sector will get the highest allocation of Tk 45,449 crore, which is 26.27 percent of the entire budget. It is followed by the power sector, which will get Tk 22,930 crore — 13.25 percent of the total allocation. Physical planning, water supply, housing will get Tk 17,890 crore; rural development organisations Tk 16,690 crore; education and religion Tk 16,620 crore; science, information and communication technology Tk 14,210 crore; health Tk 11,905 crore; agriculture Tk 7,076 crore; water resources Tk 4,592 crore, and public administration Tk 3,361 crore. On March 7, the ADP for the current fiscal year was revised. The government’s contribution remained the same at Tk 96,331 crore but the foreign fund component was slashed 8.68 percent to Tk 52,050 crore.

The planning ministry is likely to propose a Tk 1.81 lakh crore development budget for next fiscal year, giving emphasis on accelerating the construction works of some flagship infrastructure projects like the Padma bridge, Rooppur power plant and Dhaka metro rail.

The amount is 14.56 percent higher than current year’s Tk 1.58 lakh crore.

The government will give emphasis to the transport and power sectors in fiscal 2018-19, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told The Daily Star.

“At this moment we need these sectors’ development for achieving higher growth,” he said, adding that the private sector would be booming if the two sectors’ capacities are enhanced.

He went on to state that the allocation is implementable and it would help to achieve 8.1 percent GDP growth next fiscal year.

The new Annual Development Programme layout will be placed at the meeting of the National Economic Council on Thursday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who will chair the meeting, may increase the allocation if the demands of various ministries and divisions are deemed logical, according to planning ministry officials.

There was a plan to complete the Padma bridge by December this year, but it may now be delayed by six to seven months, said an official of the planning ministry.

Even then, a big allocation would have to be made against the project next fiscal year.

This fiscal year, Tk 4,000 crore has been allocated for the Padma bridge, and as of January Tk 700-800 crore has been spent, so it is highly unlikely that the entire amount would be exhausted by June 30, he said.

The total estimated cost of the project is Tk 28,793 crore and as of March, 53 percent of the sum has been used.

“To complete the project by 2019 a big allocation has to be given for it,” he added.

It is the same story for the Padma rail link project: Tk 7,609 crore has been allocated for the project this fiscal year but in the first five months only Tk 121 crore was used.

The start of the project was delayed and will finally start in earnest in the next one month. As a result, a big allocation is being made to the project in the next fiscal year.

Big chunks must also be earmarked for the Rooppur power plant, Dhaka metro rail, Karnaphuli tunnel and Matarbari coal-based power plant projects as well in fiscal 2018-19.

Though there were some problems in the initial stage, work for the projects is well under way. In the upcoming ADP, the government’s own fund may be increased 16.59 percent to Tk 1.13 lakh crore and foreign fund 15.27 percent to Tk 60,000 crore.

The allocation for the state-owned enterprises would be Tk 7,869 crore, down 14.59 percent from the current year. In the proposed ADP, the transport sector will get the highest allocation of Tk 45,449 crore, which is 26.27 percent of the entire budget.

It is followed by the power sector, which will get Tk 22,930 crore — 13.25 percent of the total allocation.

Physical planning, water supply, housing will get Tk 17,890 crore; rural development organisations Tk 16,690 crore; education and religion Tk 16,620 crore; science, information and communication technology Tk 14,210 crore; health Tk 11,905 crore; agriculture Tk 7,076 crore; water resources Tk 4,592 crore, and public administration Tk 3,361 crore. On March 7, the ADP for the current fiscal year was revised. The government’s contribution remained the same at Tk 96,331 crore but the foreign fund component was slashed 8.68 percent to Tk 52,050 crore.