The government has decided to formulate a separate capital budget outlay – with a provision of creating project preparatory funds for transformational mega projects, the Dhaka Tribune has learned.
Two ministries – finance and planning – are reportedly doing the preliminary work on how to ready project preparatory funds to meet an annual fund deficit of $6bn for construction of mega projects in Bangladesh.
Senior Finance Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are preparing capital budget for the transformational mega projects under a new outlay titled capital budget.”
The decision to create this budget was reportedly made at a recent meeting of the Fast Track Task Force at the Prime Minister's Office.
As per the decision, the two ministries are now going to hold meetings for finalising the pre- feasibility projects, land acquisitions, and finding out the necessary source of funds for mega infrastructure development projects.
Finance Ministry and Planning Ministry will formulate the modality of project preparatory funds and present it before another committee meeting scheduled for April 28 that would be chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Finance Division is also going to estimate the number of mega projects that would be carried out in the next fiscal year.
The process of readying the capital budget would be completed by the last week of May, the senior finance secretary said.
Currently, eight mega projects, including the latest plans of setting up a Chittagong-Cox's Bazar rail link, are listed as fast-track projects.
Finance Division sources said the implementation cost of the eight projects would cross Tk3 trillion, which is equivalent to the total of budget of the country for 2015-16 fiscal year.
Last month, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the government planned to formulate a separate budget for four or five projects from the next fiscal year.
According to the latest evaluation by the Fast Track Task Force, all the mega projects expect the Padma Bridge construction were progressing at a snail’s pace.
Implementation rate of Padma bridge will be 30% as of this April, while it is expected to be completed by the end of December 2017.