The government on Wednesday trimmed the development budget by 7.87% to Tk2.07 lakh crore – which is still 5% bigger than last year's revised budget for the annual development programme (ADP).
The sharpest cut in the past six years basically targeted Tk88,024 crore foreign aid axing by 20% or Tk17,774 crore of it, as the revision kept Tk1.37 lakh crore allocation from the state coffer unchanged.
The government had planned to spend Tk2.25 lakh crore for development works in the 2021-22 fiscal year.
The National Economic Council (NEC) at a meeting on Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the revised development proposal authorising funding for 1,770 projects. Of them, 378 works are likely to be completed in the current fiscal year.
The revised ADP also included 600 projects that will be approved after scrutiny.
After emerging from the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan told journalists that the prime minister has asked the deputy commissioners to make land acquisition process easy and fast to speed up the ADP implementation.
"The authorities concerned will have to take pictures of the potential sites as soon as they plan for land acquisition so that none can claim undue compensation by providing false information," Mannan told media quoting the premier.
Referring to an illicit practice of construction spree just after the land acquisition announcement to make a quick buck, Mannan said the PM ordered to thwart it.
Transport tops revised allocation
Transport and communications sector gets the highest 26.90% allocation of the revised development budget. The second highest 18.89% allocation goes to the power and energy sector. The third highest 11% is in the housing and community sector.
Besides, 10% has been allocated for the education sector, 7.48% for local government and rural development and 6.65% for the health sector.
Ten ministries and divisions have received the maximum allocation in the revised ADP. The Local Government Division receives the highest 16.66% allocation, while the Road Transport and Highways Division gets the second highest 13.72% allocation.
The Power Division has been allocated 11%, while 7.7% of the revised development budget has been assigned to the Ministry of Science and Technology, 6% to the Ministry of Railways, 4.84% to Health Services Division, 4.47% to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and 2.78% to Bridges Division.
Although the allocation for the Road Transport and Highways Division has slightly increased in the revised ADP, allocations of the Ministry of Railways and the Bridges Division have decreased.