Social Sector Spending

Social Sector Spending

Public expenditure in education and health has not yet reached at a satisfactory level. Expenditure in these sectors is inadequate for achieving the objectives set by the government itself. The rate of utilisation of the funds has also been poor. In the national budget 2013-14, Social service sector i.e. education and health and family welfare got the lower allocation compared to previous year as well as other sector in current fiscal year.

The proposed allocation for education and technology in the budget of FY 2013-14 is Tk. 26093 crore (including development and non-development budget), whereas the proposed budget for the health sector was Tk. 9470 crore (including development and non-development budget). These represent increase of Tk. 3948 crore and Tk. 137 crore for education and technology sector and health sector respectively from the preceding year.

However, expenditure on education and health is increasing in volume but the rate of growth on education and health expenditure is decreasing over the last two fiscal years. Thus, spending on education and health and family welfare are only 5.92 and 4.26 percent as a percentage of total budget in FY 2013-14. These are 0.12 and 0.61 percentage points lower than the last fiscal year. Above the graph it is clear that day by day budgetary allocation is decreasing which is not a good sign for the economy.

Moreover, the proposed public investment in education and health sector has negative revision during most of the period between fiscal year 2006-07 and fiscal year 2013-14. Through the weighted mean calculation it can be anticipated that from the proposed Tk. 26093 crore and Tk. 9470 crore as in FY 2013-14 approximately Tk. 26286 and Tk. 9036 crore may remain as revised allocation for education and health sector (Bangladesh Economic Update, June 2013, Unnayan Onneshan).

On the other side, the share of power and energy sector as percent of public expenditure has seen increasing trend and thus education and health sector are deprived from sufficient budgetary allocation. In FY 2013-14, budget expenditure is mainly expanded on interest payment, subsidy on power sector and on the other hand social expenditure on health, education and agriculture is seen as decreasing trend. Thus, public expenditure in social sectors has decreased due to the increase in allocation of energy and fuel sectors.

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