Bangladesh Government to carry forward PPP budget

The government has carried forward the previous allocation of Tk3,000 crore for public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives in the next fiscal year as there has been no significant disbursement this fiscal year for the sector. An official of the Finance Division told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that they were happy that PPP initiatives would not need any extra fund in the next budget. The official, however, regretted the fact that the private sector has failed to utilise the allocated amount. “Only Tk100 crore of the allocation for the current fiscal year has been utilised.” A number of officials alleged that most private sector investors often failed to submit strong proposals, which did not get approved and the funds remained unutilised. There were strict rules and regulations regarding the disbursement of the PPP fund, but investors do not comply with those, sources of the Finance Division said. Currently a number of projects – small and big – are waiting to be launched shortly. A year ago, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the first PPP project would be setting up of dialysis machines in Dhaka and Chittagong. Two projects – two hemdialysis centres at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital and the National Institute of Kidney Diseases and Urology – are now in the procurement stage. Of a total of 29 PPP projects, the government has signed contract of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway project worth over $1.4bn to connect Dhaka city with the Shahjalal International Airport. The Italian-Thai Development Corporation Limited will construct the expressway and has sought Tk800 crore for the project, said Md Atiquzzaman, executive director and CEO of Bangladesh Infrastructure Finance Fund Limited, the funding authority for PPP projects. The metro rail project will also be implemented under the PPP initiative. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the project three years back. “We have disbursed Tk160 crore for the three infrastructure projects,” Atiquzzaman said. The government has allocated a total of Tk8,500 crore funds for different PPP projects over the past five years since FY2009-2010. But a small amount of fund has been spent so far. The FY2009-2010 budget first included PPP projects allocation. In FY 2009-10, an amount of Tk2,500crore was allocated for PPP projects. The next year the allocation rose to Tk3,000 crore for 15 projects as planned. The PPP projects got Tk3,000crore during FY2011-12 in the development budget. A total of 16 projects were included under the PPP initiative. In the current fiscal year, the government has allocated Tk2,500crore to implement 13 PPP projects and last year the government disbursed Tk30 crore for a Tk1,000 crore revolving fund under the PPP initiative. Meanwhile, the government in the last five years has undertaken separate PPP projects in the annual development programmes. But the projects remain unimplemented. - See more at: