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Tk 5.25t budget likely

Next ADP’s aid chunk set at Tk 718b

FE Report | April 25, 2019 00:00:00

The government is set to fix GDP (gross domestic product) growth target for the next fiscal year at 8.2 per cent, officials said.

The total size of the budget for fiscal year 2019-20 may be around Tk 5.25 trillion, they said.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will be asked to collect Tk 3.25 trillion and the non-NBR sources Tk 140 billion. The non-tax revenue (NTR) target will be around Tk 380 billion.

A meeting of the Fiscal Coordination Council and Budget Monitoring and Resource Committee (BMRC) set the targets Wednesday at the Bangladesh secretariat.

Finance minister A H M Mustafa Kamal, who chaired the meeting, is expected to place the budget in parliament on June 13.

The minister, however, did not want to disclose budget details to reporters without consent from the government high-ups.

"I won't disclose anything on the new budget before Prime Minister gives her approval," he told reporters.

All these things are at the preliminary stage and not final, he noted.

On another occasion, Mr Kamal asked the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) to provide data in support of the think-tank's claim that the economy's high growth performance is not reflected in key macroeconomic indicators.

"The CPD did its own job and we did ours. Ask them to provide data to us whatever they have," he said replying to a reporter's query after a meeting of cabinet committee on public procurement Wednesday.

At a programme reviewing the first 100 days of the incumbent government on Tuesday, the CPD said major parameters like private-sector credit, revenue mobilisation, private investment, and employment generation are on the decline while productivity is far below the expected level.

The contribution of demographic dividend, which is considered one of the strengths of the nation, to the economy also kept falling in recent years, it said.

Meanwhile, the government is likely to allocate a record Tk 718 billion foreign aid for the upcoming development budget as some mega projects will eat up a significant amount of external funds.

The Economic Relations Division (ERD) of the ministry of finance has finalised the project aid for the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the fiscal year 2019-20.

The proposed allocation is 40.78 per cent higher than the current allocation in the revised ADP of the ongoing fiscal.

In the current budget, the government allocated Tk 510 billion worth of foreign aid (project aid) in the Revised Annual Development Programme (RADP) of the FY2018-19.

A senior ERD official told the FE that they have already finalised the project aid.

Since some mega projects including Rooppur nuclear power plant will receive a good amount of allocations, the total size of the foreign aid in the ADP "has risen by nearly 41 per cent in the upcoming ADP," he said.

Some projects in the power and transport sectors will also receive higher allocations in the upcoming budget, prompting the Division to prepare a rising project aid profile for the next national budget, the official added.

Another ERD official involved with the task of calculating the project aid said they had finalised the outlay coming from the external sources.

"We've already sent the external resources allocations to the Planning Commission for finalising the next ADP," he said.

Now the Commission will prepare the ADP incorporating the funds from both domestic and external resources, he added.

"Before finalising the aid outlay, we've consulted with all the government ministries and agencies on their requirement. Then we have sent the total outlay to the Commission," the official said.

The Commission has been working for the last couple of months to finalise the ADP for the next fiscal.

Project aid means the allocation to the ADP, which comes from bilateral and multilateral development partners.

The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan, and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) are the major project aid providers for the development work in Bangladesh.

The ministry of finance (MoF) and the Commission are working on formulating the national budget for the upcoming fiscal, where ADP will be the major part of the development budget.

In the original Tk 1.73 trillion ADP for FY2019, the government had allocated Tk 600 billion as project aid.

But last month, it slashed the amount by Tk 90 billion as development projects could spend less.

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