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The government on Tuesday approved Tk 2,05,145 crore annual development programme for the new fiscal year that will begin from July 1 with the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project receiving the highest Tk 15,691 crore allocation.

The approval was given at a National Economic Council meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair through a video conference from her office amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The sector-wise allocations, as announced by  planning minister MA Mannan at a press briefing at the planning commission after the meeting, showed that there was no major increase in the health sector investment although a widespread expectation was there that the allocation would be doubled.

The planning minister said that the health sector allocation in the new ADP was Tk 13,033 crore against the allocation of Tk 10,108 crore in the revised ADP of the outgoing fiscal year.

The health sector investment would be 6.34 per cent of the total in 2020-21 compared to 5.8 per cent in the original ADP of the outgoing fiscal year.

The transport infrastructure, construction and power sectors were given the highest allocations as usual although critics said that the lion’s share of the power sector allocation would be pocketed by the private sector without producing any power under the friendly clause of ‘capacity charge’.     

Answering whether the health sector allocation was sufficient amid the coronavirus pandemic, MA Mannan said that the government afforded the sector this much money against the shortage of resources, repeatedly reminded by the ministry of finance, because of the record-low revenue income.

Besides, he doubted the health sector’s capacity to utilise higher allocation, saying that none should be given three meals for a single session.

MA Mannan, however, said that the PM gave the clear message that any viable project in the health sector would be given priority any time of the year while referring to projects taken up with money from the Tk 2,500-crore loan from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The agricultural sector received Tk 8,382 crore, the eighth position among the sectors, while the transport sector obtained 25.43pc of the ADP or Tk 52,183 crore, the physical planning, water supply and housing sector 12.57pc or Tk 25,795 crore, the power sector 12.09 pc or Tk 24,804 crore, the education and religion sector 11.40 pc or allocation or Tk 23,390 crore, the science and ICT sector 8.99 pc or Tk 18,448 crore and the rural development and rural institutions sector 7.58 pc or Tk 15,555 crore.

According to the planning commission, the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project received the highest allocation of Tk 15,691 crore.

A total of Tk 5,000 crore has been allocated to the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, Tk 4,370 crore to the Metro Rail Project, Tk 3,685 crore to the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project and Tk 3,670 crore to Matarbari Ultra Super Critical coal-fired Power Plant Project.

Out of the total ADP outlay, Tk 1,34,643 crore will come from the local sources while Taka 70,502 crore from the foreign sources.

The NEC also approved Tk 9,466 crore against 89 projects of the autonomous bodies and corporations that would take the size of the overall ADP for the next fiscal year to Tk 2,14,611 crore.

There are 1,584 projects in the new ADP, including 1,456 investment projects, 127 technical assistance projects, and one project from the Japan Debt Cancellation Fund.

Besides, there are 89 projects for the autonomous bodies and corporations.

The ADP for the next fiscal year is Tk 12,224 crore higher than the revised ADP of the outgoing fiscal year, which was Tk 1,92,921 crore.

The new ADP kept an allocation of Tk 1,000 crore for special development projects.

News Courtesy: www.newagebd.net

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