The Power Division has sought an additional fund of Tk3,000 crore for the 2017-2018 fiscal year to implement development projects in the power sector.
State Minister of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid sent a letter to Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on May 7 asking to raise the allocation for power development projects, an official in the Ministry of Planning told the Dhaka Tribune.
“However, it is not possible to increase the budget allocation at this point as it has been fixed already and is awaiting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's approval at the meeting of National Economic Council on May 14,” he said.
The Power Division demanded a budget increase before the 2016-17 budget as well, but it was not granted, he added.
According to the letter sent by Nasrul Hamid, the extra fund is necessary to ensure dependable and standard generation of electricity across the country under the government's Vision 2021, which targets national electricity generation of 24,000MW.
The letter says the budget allocation for the Power Division in the 2017-18 fiscal year is Tk18,845.27 crore, Tk9,500 crore of which will be provided by the government and the rest from project assistances.
However, the Power Division requires Tk3,000 crore more for its projects, which makes the total outlay for the coming fiscal year Tk21,845.27 crore.
Of that total sum, Tk12,500 crore will come from the government exchequer, and the rest from donors.
To reach the Vision 2021 targets, the Power Division will implement 106 short, middle and long-term projects including 18 new ones, which are set to be approved in May 14 meeting as well.
Among the big projects in the coming fiscal year are establishment of 1.8 million new connections under Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board, development of grid network in the western part of the country, and development of distribution and generation lines in Rajshahi, Khulna and Rangpur areas.
The allocation for the Power Division in the current budget was Tk16,064 crore, which was later revised to Tk16,217 crore. Of the total outlay, the Power Division spent Tk8,655 crore until March.
The rate of physical implementation of Power Division projects until March is 80.81%, which was 79.95% in March last year. Besides, fund disbursement rate for development projects until March is 76.69%, which was only 55.22% the same time last year.