The sector has been allocated 11.6% of the total proposed budget
The Transport and Communication sector is set to get the second highest budgetary allocation in the coming fiscal year. The move is in line with the government’s aims to build a better infrastructure for faster development and create employment in the coming years.
Bearing this in mind, the finance minister has proposed a Tk72,028 crore budget allocation for this sector, a major part of which will be spent on the completion of infrastructural projects like metro rail, Padma Bridge, new rail lines and bridges since connectivity could create more jobs.
The proposed allocation is Tk7,448 crore higher than in the ongoing fiscal year and comprises 11.9% of the total budget. It includes operational costs of Tk10,851 crore.
The allocation for the current fiscal was Tk64,580 crore, including operational costs to the tune of Tk10,342 crore.
The government has finalized Tk225,324 crore for the Annual Development Program (ADP), under which top priority has been given to the transport and communication sector, the allocation for it being Tk61,170 crore (excluding operational costs).
This is 25.8% of ADP, which is 0.6% higher than the ongoing fiscal year’s original budget.
The government will implement dozens of mega projects related to connectivity, including metro rail and Padma Bridge, with over 50% of the proposed allocation.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said that the overall implementation progress of the mega projects was 57.56% while placing a Tk603,681 crore budget outlay for the 2021-22 fiscal year in parliament on Thursday.
“Progress in the Padma Bridge project is 85% [until April]; the bridge is expected to be opened for vehicles by the end of the next fiscal year. The construction of MRT Line-6 [metro rail] is progressing well. Designs of MRT Line-1 and Line-5 are at the final stage, and construction work will begin soon,” he added.
“Another important goal of the government will be to strive for a timely implementation of all nationally important projects, including such mega projects in the infrastructure sector as the Padma Bridge, Padma Rail Link Bridge, Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar Railway construction, Payra Sea Port, and Dhaka Metro Rail, and more.”
On Tuesday, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan told Dhaka Tribune: “Covid-19 interrupted the progress of the mega projects last year. But now the projects are being implemented smoothly through following health guidelines.”
“There is a big opportunity to create jobs once the Padma Bridge and Padma Bridge Rail Link Projects connect the Mongla and Payra seaports as trade will then get a boost,” he added.
Transport sector experts believe the country’s infrastructure will get a new look if the budgetary allocation is spent properly.
Prof Shamsul Haque of the Civil Engineering Department of Buet said: “The mega projects have already gained momentum and there is no barrier as funds are available. Now, close monitoring by the government is needed because these projects will boost our economy. If we are late, the benefits of the projects will be lost to us.”