The National Economic Council (NEC) on Tuesday approved a Tk1,57,594.39 crore revised Annual Development Program (ADP) budget for the current fiscal year, downsizing the original ADP of Tk1,64,084.83 crore.
"The NEC today (Tuesday) approved the revised ADP budget, making a Tk 4,950.25 crore cut from the part of foreign sources," Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said at a press briefing after the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the NEC conference room in Dhaka.
The amount of the organisations' own funds was cut by Tk 1,540.19 crore as well, and now stands at Tk 9,213.39 crore in the revised ADP, he added.
As a result, the revised ADP budget stands at Tk1,48,381 crore excluding NEC funds, with Tk96,331 crore of the amount to be provided by local sources while the remaining Tk52,050 crore will come from foreign sources.
The planning minister further said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed him to consider the additional demands of various ministries and divisions and thus make additional allocations during the final formulation of the revised ADP.
There will be no additional fund constraints for the ministries and divisions which will be able to utilize the additional funds, he added.
The Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the Planning Commission placed the ADP implementation progress report at the NEC meeting.
Mustafa Kamal added that the implementation of the ADP during the July-February period of the current fiscal year reached 38.01%, with an expenditure of Tk62,372 crore.
In the previous fiscal year, implementation of the ADP budget was at 36.91% with expenditure of Tk38,675 crore over the same period, while it was at 34% and Tk38,675 crore respectively in FY2015-16.
"In terms of expenditure, the ADP implementation rate almost doubled in the past three years. GDP growth will be comparably high as all indexes of the current fiscal year were positive", the minister said.
Regarding economic growth, the planning minister said Bangladesh's overall macroeconomic situation will be much better at the end of the current fiscal compared to the last fiscal year, as major macroeconomic indicators such as export earnings, remittance inflow and revenue generation are on the rise.
He added that it was possible for GDP growth in the current fiscal year to exceed the fiscal target of 7.4%.
The minister, however, did not make a specific projection of GDP growth, saying they will come up with a projection in mid-April.
Mustafa Kamal also said the prime minister had directed the authorities concerned to avoid wasteful expenditure while revising any project, installing signboards in the project areas, raising the briefs of any project before people, and providing the rate of return and risk measurements in the Development Project Proforma, to avoid the lengthy process in project approval.
Planning Division Secretary Md Ziaul Islam said the NEC meeting adopted a total of seven proposals, including one on the overall number of projects.
He said a total of 1,658 projects were included in the RADP, including 1,365 investment projects, 143 technical assistance projects, 3 projects from the Japan Debt Cancellation Fund and 147 projects from the organisations' own funds.