Tk 10,000cr cut in ADP on cardsShakhawat Hossain
The government is likely to compromise the development budget in the current fiscal year because of a sharp rise in non-development expenditure.
Finance ministry officials said an amount of Tk 10,000 crore was likely to be slashed from the projected annual development programme worth Tk 65,780 crore to meet the rising non-development costs in the crucial election year.
Plummeting revenue and low utilisation of foreign loans and grants against the rising non-development costs because of pay hike for public servants and allowances for defence and law enforces might force the government to go for around 15 per cent cut in the ADP, they said.
Experts said the country’s growth forecast in the current fiscal year would be lowered further if the government fails to implement the projected ADP to lift the falling private sector investment.
Available data showed that the country’s private sector credit growth achieved only 4.41 per cent in July-November of 2013 against half-yearly target of 15.50 per cent as the businessmen remained shy of investment.
The finance ministry officials, however, said the revised outlay of the ADP was yet to be finalised by the planning ministry.
The finance ministry has already conveyed its concern to the Planning Commission as the later has started the process of revising the ADP.
National Board of Revenue chairman Ghulam Hussain told New Age that the revenue shortfall would cross Tk 13,000 crore in this fiscal year.
The shortfall might hit Tk 15,000 crore if the current political unrest continues, he said.
A total of Tk 24,563 crore or 37.30 per cent of the ADP is projected to come from the lending agencies.
But availability of project aids might be disrupted following the January 5 general polls which were boycotted by the BNP-led alliance.
It is reported that the United States and the United Kingdom were reviewing whether to continue funding aid programmes involving the new parliament in Bangladesh.
The government has been paying 20 per cent dearness allowances to the public officials and employees since last October. The hike in salary would cost the government Tk 4,000 crore annually.
It has enhanced risk allowances for police that would require additional Tk 3.5 crore in the current year. Besides, risk allowances for other agencies are under process which would push up the non-development cost further.
Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the local think-tank Policy Research Institute, said 6 per cent growth projected by many early this fiscal year looked uncertain.
He said sluggish business activities due to political unrest had marred a good growth prospect in the current fiscal year.
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