International lenders and donors disbursed only $ 1.98 billion in loans and grants in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year against their commitment to disburse more than $ 5.11 billion in the period, said Economic Relations Division officials.
Such lower disbursement was because of sluggish project implementation by the government agencies, they said.
Disbursement of loans and grants increased by 24 per cent in July-April of the fiscal year 2012-13 compared with that of the same period of last fiscal year, data released on Wednesday showed.
Economist and ERD officials said that the amount of disbursement remains lower because of lower-than-expected rate of implementation of foreign-funded projects under the annual development programme.
Disbursement would have increased further if implementation rate of foreign-funded projects got momentum, they said.
Out of $ 1.98 billion, lenders disbursed $ 1.5 billion as loans while donors provided $ 467 million in grants.
The government had to pay back $ 978.23 million as principal and interest on previous years’ loans.
After repayment of interest and principals, net foreign borrowings, however, stood at only $ 532.72 million if grants are kept out, the data showed.
In the current fiscal year, the government set a target of net foreign borrowing of Tk 12,540 crore.
According to the data, lenders and donors committed to disburse of $ 4.5 billion in loans and $ 567.73 million in grants in the period.
In July-April period of FY 2011-12, they disbursed $ 1.6 billion against the commitment to disburse $ 4.4 billion, ERD data showed.
According to Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the planning ministry, government ADP implementing agencies implemented only 42 per cent of foreign-funded projects in July-March period.
Former caretaker government adviser Mirza Azizul Islam told New Age that disbursement remained lower than commitment because of lower rate of implementation of foreign-funded projects.
‘Government agencies cannot complete development works of foreign-funded projects. So lenders and donors disburse less amounts of loans and grants,’ he said.
The amount of foreign aid in the pipeline is increasing over the years and stood at more than $ 16 billion because of lower disbursement, he said.
ERD officials, however, said that the disbursement would increase by the end of the year because of progress of projects implementation.
ERD estimated that disbursement would stand at around $ 2.7 billion by the end of the year.
According to the data, of the amount disbursed in the July-April period of the fiscal year, the International Development Association, the soft loan window of the World Bank, came out as the top lender and released $546.24 million, followed by the Asian Development Bank with $468.65 million and Japan International Cooperation Agency with $320.89 million.
China provided $ 150.29 million and India gave $ 123.68 million during the period, the data showed.
-With New Age input