Bangladesh’s health sector is likely to witness an increased amount of only Tk 800 crore, the lowest monetary allocation in terms of increase, in the upcoming annual development programme (ADP) for the 2020-21 fiscal year, official sources said.
The allocation for the health sector in the running fiscal's ADP is Tk 12,236 crore while it will be Tk 13,033 crore in the next fiscal's ADP. That means the enhancement in the allocation will be only Tk 797 crore, the sources said.
This allocation is being made at a time when the country's health sector exposed its vulnerability with the onslaught COVID-19. “A much bigger jump in the allocation for the health sector was expected,” the official said preferring anonymity.
The Ministry of Planning has finalised its draft for the allocation and it will be placed before the National Economic Council (NEC) where the Prime Minister is the chairperson for the final approval.
Sources at the ministry said there are 57 projects are going on under the health division and health education and family welfare division.
A coronavirus-related project was approved last month on special consideration. Beside this, no new project from the Health Ministry was passed for the next ADP. As a result, the running projects of the health ministry will get the allocation for the next fiscal.
"My personal opinion is the allocation should be more. However, that cannot happen with my words only as there are some other stakeholders. The decision will be taken at the meeting tomorrow (Tuesday)," Planning Minister MA Mannan told UNB.
He said the extended meeting of the National Economic Council to finalise the draft of the ADP will be held on Tuesday. "At that meeting, I’ll express my opinion while other stakeholders will give theirs," he said.
The final draft of ADP proposal will be placed before the NEC, where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is the chairperson, for the final approval.
As per the system, respective ministries or divisions formulate their development projects and then send those to the Planning Minister for the final approval.
The ADP allocation for health sector in the running fiscal (2019-20) is Tk 12,236 crore while it was Tk 10,809 crore in 2018-19 fiscal and Tk 8,690 crore in 2017-18 fiscal.
According to the Planning Ministry, the total size of the ADP will be Tk 205,145 crore where the transport sector will get the highest allocation with more than Tk 50,000 crore while power sector around Tk 25,00 crore and education sector more or less Tk 23,000 crore.
A senior official at the Planning Ministry said it takes a plenty of time to get approval for a project as it goes through various types of scrutiny, but the health sector will get non-development allocation than the development one.