The highest allocation has been proposed for the transport and communication sector in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the next fiscal year, giving priority to the ongoing mega projects.
Some 27.47% of the ADP allocation has been earmarked for the sector.
The second highest allocation has been proposed for the Power and Energy sector, which is 20.45% of the total ADP.
The fifth highest proposed allocation goes to the health sector, which is 7.7% of the ADP.
On the other hand, experts had suggested giving special importance to the social protection sector in dealing with the pandemic. Again, they had also urged to prioritise the agricultural sector to ensure food security.
But in the new proposal, these two sectors are not on the list of highest allocations.
In the sector-wise allocation proposal of the Planning Commission, the social protection sector has been kept at the bottom among 15 sectors. It has been proposed to allocate 0.73% of the ADP in the sector and 3.4% of the ADP has been allocated to the agriculture sector.
This is the first time that various sectors under the ADP have been restructured. Earlier, allocations were made in 17 sectors.
As per the Five Year Plan and national budget sectors, the number of sectors has been reduced to 15 under the ADP from the next fiscal year.
Mohammad Jainul Bari, a member of the Planning Commission and secretary to the Planning Division, said officials informed that the ADP ceiling has already been received from the Finance Division. Based on this, the Planning Commission has proposed allocations considering priority and demand. It will be finalised at the National Economic Council meeting.
In the ADP amounting to Tk224,324.14 crore for the next financial year, it has been proposed to allocate Tk136,799.91 crore from the government's coffer and Tk87,524.23 crore from external sources. Besides, another Tk500 crore has been allocated from foreign assistance, according to the Planning Commission.
The third-highest allocation of 10.62% has been proposed for the housing and community amenities sector in the new ADP. The education sector, hit hard by the pandemic, has got the fourth highest allocation proposal in the new ADP, which is 10.40% of the ADP, the Planning Commission said.
Fahmida Khatun, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), told The Business Standard that the health sector should be given priority, considering the Covid situation. An adequate allocation should be made for purchasing necessary medical equipment such as life-saving oxygen, intensive care beds and others.
The second highest priority should be given to the social protection sector. The number of new poor people is increasing because of Covid-induced income losses, she said adding that the allocation should be doubled for the education sector to conduct educational activities online.
Infrastructure projects will create employment opportunities, so the sector needs allocation at this time, she said.
According to the Planning Commission, based on the proposed ADP size for the next fiscal year fixed by the Finance Division, the size of the allocation may increase or decrease until the sector-based allocation is finalised.
According to sources, several priority projects in the infrastructure sector have been allocated as per the demand. The implementation of the fast-track project has been slow in the Covid-led lockdown situation. There is also uncertainty over whether the pace of work will increase in the next financial year. For this reason, it has been proposed to allocate Tk39,024 crore for seven fast-track projects under the ADP.
Some Tk17,301.97 crore has been proposed for the health sector in the next financial year. The proposed allocation is 15.95% of the revised ADP for the current financial year and 32.76% of the ADP. In the ADP of the current fiscal year, the allocation for the health sector has been increased from Tk13,032.60 crore to Tk14,921.90 crore.
The allocation for the agricultural sector has not increased much as compared to the revised ADP for the current financial year.
In the new ADP, an allocation of Tk7,646 crore has been proposed in the sector, while Tk7,734 crore has been allocated to this sector in the revised ADP of the current fiscal year. Only Tk1,648 crore has been allocated for social protection.
To boost the rural economy, this year's ADP has proposed an allocation of Tk14,274 crore for the local government and rural development sector, which is 6.63% of the total ADP.