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Transport-sector craves for internal resources

Ministry seeks more Tk 10.64b in RADP

FHM Humayan Kabir | January 25, 2018 00:00:00

Transport sector that undertakes many mega-projects has a greater liking for easy-available internal resources and seeks an additional nearly Tk 10.64 billion in such funds in revised development budget.

Officials said Wednesday the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges (MoRT&B), however, sought a lower amount from external resources (project aid) by Tk 7.70 billion for completing its foreign-aided development projects in the current financial year (FY).

A Planning Commission (PC) official said although the ministry has proposed the slashing of the ongoing allocations for the mega-projects like Padma Bridge, MRT line-6 and Dhaka Elevated Expressway, it demanded higher funds for some small and less-priority projects in the upcoming RADP or revised annual development programme.

He said: "The ministry has sought higher funds from the internal resources though project aid (foreign aid) is available for the ongoing projects. The fund-cut proposal from the external resources is causing the ballooning of foreign aid in the pipeline."

He said the government had already confirmed the foreign assistance against the specific projects under the ministry which should be spent for implementing the projects in time. "But the ministry rather feels comfortable spending money from the domestic resources."

Asked about reasons for such liking and disliking, a top PC official said since the monitoring on the internal-fund expenditure is comparatively weaker than that of the project aid, public agencies prefer to send money from the domestic resources.

"It is unfortunate that the foreign aid in the pipeline is increasing every year due to the failure in spending the available foreign resources," he added.

The PC official said the MoRT&B has sought Tk 176.24 billion worth of funds from the internal resources in the upcoming RADP for the current FY, 2017-18, Tk 10.64 billion higher than its Tk 165.59 billion outlay in the original ADP (Annual Development Programme).

The ministry, however, sought Tk 7.69 billion lower funds to Tk 78.94 billion from the external resources in the RADP compared to its Tk 86.64 billion outlay in the original ADP.

According to the MoRT&B, the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) has cut down its fund requirement by Tk 8.21 billion to Tk 47.03 billion for the Padma Bridge project in the upcoming RADP.

It has sought Tk 2.4-billion lower allocation from the internal resources for the Support to DEE project in the RADP of the current FY2018 instead of its allocation of Tk 8.05 billion in the original ADP.

The MRT line-6 construction project has also sought similar allocation of Tk 34.25 billion in the revised developed budget like it is in the original ADP.

Meanwhile, the MoRT&B has sought total Tk 255.18 billion worth of allocations for implementing its 100 ongoing projects in the upcoming RADP compared to the present allocation of Tk 252.24 billion.

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