Publish: 18 May 2020, 08:11 pm
The National Economic Council (NEC) is likely to approve the annual development program (ADP) for 2020-21 fiscal on Tuesday amid COVID-19 rampage which threatened its proper implementation.
The Planning Commission has prepared a draft ADP of Tk 205,145 crore for the new fiscal which was approved by the extended meeting of the Commission on May 12.
"Yes, there'll be some difficulties in implementing the next ADP due to the ongoing COVID-19," Planning Minister MA Mannan told journalists.
He said physical works on various development projects have got stalled due to COVID-19 onslaught for the last two months.
"We don't know when this crisis will be over. If this pandemic continues, carrying out physical works on ADP projects will be a great problem," the minister said.
MA Mannan mentioned that the paperwork of a project can be done from home or office but not the physical one. "The ongoing projects will be greatly affected if this situation continues."
The minister said the COVID-19 that brought the whole world to a standstill will also cast impacts on the import of machinery for the ongoing projects or new ones.
He said all the equipment for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is imported from Russia.
"If the situation doesn't improve in Russia and Bangladesh, the import of this machinery will be affected. The foreign experts or consultants of various projects are also unlikely to travel to Bangladesh. This will hamper the implementation.''
Internal resource mobilization, the minister said, will be another problem as most business activities remained stuck for a couple of months due to the pandemic. "If the revenue collection doesn’t go on in full swing, it’ll create an obstacle towards project implementation."
Without proper collection from resources, he said, it would be difficult to allocate money to old and new projects.
Talking about the meeting, the minister said the NEC will take place at its conference room while its chairperson Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will join it through videoconferencing.
"Due to social distancing, the Prime Minister will join the meeting through videoconferencing. Besides, we’ve invited fewer ministers and secretaries to attend the meeting," he added.
Sources said the government will provide Tk 134,643 crore from its own fund while foreign aid will be Tk 70,501 crore.
The total number of projects in the next year's ADP will be 1,847, including that of autonomous bodies, and without those, it will be 1,588.
The number of projects in the outgoing fiscal was 1,744 without the projects of the autonomous entities.
The transport sector will get Tk 52,100 crore while the power sector Tk 24,800 crore, education Tk 23,400, health Tk 13,033 crore and agriculture sector Tk 8,424 crore.
The ADP size for the current fiscal (2019-20) was Tk 202,721 crore, but it was later revised to Tk 192,921 crore.