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MTEF Reform in Bangladesh Analysis

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Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Background

This dissertation studies the MTEF (Medium Term Expenditure Framework) reform in Bangladesh. The MTEF was introduced in 4 ministries including Ministry of Education from 2005-06, named as MTBF (Medium Term Budgetary Framework). In the following year it included Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. All other ministries will be brought under this framework in near future. The focus of this study is to explore the effect of introducing the MTEF in education and health budgets, explain the difference between the MTEF and traditional budgetary system in the formulation and execution of budget, analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of budgetary spending due to adopting the MTEF in the education and health sectors considering the three outcomes (maintaining fiscal discipline, promoting allocative Efficiency and enhancing operational efficiency) of public expenditure management (PEM) and finally to comment on whether improvements were achieved or not due to adopting the MTEF. This chapter outlines the relevancy of the study, the research questions to be answered in the subsequent chapters, methodology and analytical framework, limitations of the study and finally the presentation structure.

1.2 Rationale of the Study

The main objective of formulating a budget under the MTEF is to link the budgetary allocations with government's policies, priorities. This is for ensuring efficient utilisation of limited public resources, which will enhance pro-poor growth and poverty reduction. One of the ‘policy priority triangles' set out in country's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP, 2005) is human development. So, Education and health sectors have been attached to top priority on investment by the Government.

1 According to MTBF (2005-06, p-01), ‘The Medium Term Budgetary Framework (MTBF) is a new budgeting approach generally known as the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)'. Here, no basic difference between MTEF and MTBF has been stated. So, the term ‘MTEF' will be used ubiquitously in this dissertation except quoting the references where relevant.

These two sectors account for almost 20% of the total government expenditure each year in Bangladesh. The MTEF has been implemented in these two sectors since 2006 and many of the government policy objectives are linked with them. It is necessary to review the performance of the MTEF so that the output could be infused into ongoing works and corrective actions can be taken to planned activities accordingly. Thus, it seeks to investigate the impact of the MTEF on budgetary system of these two sectors.

1.3 Research Questions

For this paper, the research questions are:

1. To what extent MTEF led to changesa in the formulation and execution of education and health budgets?

2. Has MTEF improved the effectivenessb and efficiencyc of budgetary expenditure on education and health?

a. Mainly three types of changes- institutional, process (procedure) and technical (technological).

b. Effectiveness is about how far does the activity (here MTEF) achieve its objective- and the objective itself is greater allocative efficiency.

c. Efficiency here means at what cost was that result achieved, i.e. how many additional resources were used up in adopting MTEF (Here it means operational efficiency).

1.4 Broad Methodological Approach

The analysis is purely desk- based. Secondary information sourced from review of literatures on the MTEF of different countries and other related articles of OECD, IMF, World Bank. UNICEF, PEFA, ADB, UNDP comprising as assessment and analysis of available documents on the MTEF and related processes. To answer the research questions data of national budget from 2001t o 2010, documents on the MTEF from 2006 to 2010, monthly fiscal report from 2004 to 2008- Finance Division, Ministry of Finance (MoF), Bangladesh Economic Review 2003-2008, IRBD by CPD (Centre for Policy Dialogue) from 2004- 2010, Public Expenditure Review on health- 2007, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Sector wise budgets from Ministry of Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are used. Data from national budgets, BER, MTBF and PER played the key role to answer the research questions. Information was collected from interviewing few relevant staff of the MoF and consulting published documents and databases available in the Internet. The analysis is both qualitative and quantitative depending on the availability of the relevant data.

1.4.1 Analytical Framework

1) To answer the first question regarding changes due to adopting MTEF in Bangladesh, three elements will be analyzed - institutional change, procedural change and technical change and this analysis will try to differentiate the qualitative changes took place due to adopting MTEF over the traditional budgeting system in relation to those three elements.

2) The MTEF budgets of education and health will be assessed taking into account the three basic elements of PEM (Public Expenditure Management) - maintaining fiscal discipline, promoting allocative efficiency and enhancing operational efficiency (Schick, A, 1998) to get the answer of the second question concerning improvement in effectiveness and efficiency of budgetary spending after MTEF.

Fiscal discipline, allocative efficiency and operational efficiency are interdependent (DFID, 2001). Allen Schick (1998, p. 2) argued that the lack of fiscal discipline leads to improper resource allocation and operates inefficiency. So, fiscal discipline promotes allocative and operational efficiency. MTEF sought to strengthen those three outcomes. Therefore, the effectiveness and efficiency of budgetary spending is improved when those three basic elements are achieved.

The following criteria/ principles will be analysed to reveal the experiences of attaining those three basic elements

Basic Indicators of PEM

Criteria/ Principles that influence PEM indicators

Fiscal discipline- ‘

keeping government spending within sustainable limits over the medium- term and beyond' (Schick , A. 1998).

Conformity with the spending limit

- whether the actual spending exceeds the original budget

Consistency in the trend of sectoral expenditure-

increasing trend in the sectoral allocation having uniformity with the increase in total public expenditure

Allocative Efficiency-

means that the allocation is better targeted shifting spending from lower priority to higher priority linked to policy objectives (ibid).

Change in sectoral allocation-

whether allocation is increased in real term

Strategic resource allocation linked to policy, planning -

ensure allocating resources to the strategic objectives of MTEF that reflects the policy priority

Spending in priority areas/ programmes-

ensure better targeting means lower to higher priority

Devolution of allocative responsibilities to line ministries-

ensuring more empowerment in preparing budget

Operational efficiency-

quality of the public services should be reasonable and it should be given at the lowest possible cost (ADB, 2001)

Convergence between Expenditure estimates and outturn-

to see the deviation, over- spending and under- spending

Greater predictability of public funds

Progress in achieving output targets-

analysing progress against agreed milestones (performance targets) set by the MTEF ministries.

Source: The above criteria in the table are generated on the basis of the literature of Schick, A (1998), World Bank (1998), DFID guidelines (2001)

1.4.1.1 Criteria setting

The aim is to find out some criteria that influences the three objectives of PEM as well as matches with the ‘MTEF objectives of Bangladesh' (discussed in chapter- 3..) so that the impact of the MTEF can be assessed. The analytical framework is adapted and it is mainly based on the literature of ‘Schick, A (1998), A Contemporary Approach to Public Expenditure Management', ‘World Bank (1998), Public Expenditure Management Handbook', DFID guidelines (2001) and some other empirical evidences (discussed in chapter- 2).

Some other relevant criteria are not examined mainly due to data non- availability of appropriate data. For example, improvement in accountability and transparency relates to operational efficiency is not analysed due to data limitation and relevant information unavailability.

A simple cross- section data is presented in tabular form where it is relevant in addressing the research questions.

1.6 Limitations

The MTEF is now at its earlier stage in Bangladesh and no formal review or comprehensive assessment has been made on this new budgetary process. Sufficient information is not available and current and reliable data are also unobtainable. So, there is much reliance on government budgetary documents that cannot always be testified by evidences from other sources.

1.7 Presentation Structure

Chapter 2 provides literature review on theoretical concept of MTEF, budgetary reforms followed both in developed and developing countries and assessments of the impact of the MTEF in those countries using the analytical framework specified for answering question two.

Chapter 3 illustrates MTEF reform in Bangladesh and analysis of the traditional budgetary process and MTEF in view of the changes took place due to adopting MTEF to get the answer of question 1.

Chapter 4 focuses on the assessment of impact of MTEF on education budget to get the answer to question-2

Chapter 5 focuses on the assessment of impact of MTEF on health budget to get the answer to question-2

Chapter 6 presents the conclusion where all the research questions are summarized.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

This chapter aims to explore various criteria/ principles that will be used to judge the performance of the MTEF in line with the three basic indicators of the public expenditure management (PEM). With this end in view, it provides literature review on theoretical concept of the MTEF, the theoretical explanation regarding the relationship between the MTEF and the public expenditure management (PEM). It also examines the empirical studies on the MTEF of different countries to reveal the different criteria/ conditions that were set to assess the role of the MTEF in promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditure. Finally it brings together some criteria that will be used to develop the analytical framework to assess the impact of the MTEF on education and health budget (the title of the dissertation) in Bangladesh.

2.1 The Theoretical Background

2.1.1 Concept of the MTEF

The MTEF (Medium Term Expenditure Framework) is defined as an approach ‘designed specially to link planning, which has a medium term outlook, with the annual budget, and, as a consequence, to link budgetary expenditure more systematically with socially desired outcomes', (ADB, 2002, p-1). On the whole, MTEF integrated policy, planning and budgeting and allows expenditure to be ‘driven by policy priorities and disciplined by budget realities' (World Bank, 1998). So, MTEF is a multiyear rolling expenditure under which a realistic projection of revenue receipts and expenditure is prepared over a three to five year period and spending priorities are set with reference to the Government's policy objectives and thus it provides a clear foundation for the annual budget. Under the MTEF, over a three year period, first year estimate is considered as budget, two outer year's estimates as indicative figures. In the following year, the MTEF rolls forward and a new forward estimate for another year is added. After necessary adjustment, the second year forward estimate is considered as budget as it becomes first year for the next MTEF.

Figure 2.1: Rolling Principle of the MTEF (Source: ODI, 2002, p- 5)

In many countries, the MTEF is implemented at two key levels, at the central government level which is referred to as the ‘top- down approach' and at the spending agencies level, referred to as the ‘bottom- up approach' (World Bank, 1998, p-40). In the ‘top- down approach', Ministry of Finance identified the ‘resource envelops' (which is referred to as the indicative expenditure ceiling) and allocate those to the line ministries in view of their relative need. In the ‘bottom- up approach, line ministries or sectoral agencies formulates and estimates the actual and projected costs of the spending programmes within the spending limit for the medium term by examining the sectoral objectives and activities (Houerou and Taliercio, 2002, p-2).

Table 2.1 Seven Stages of the MTEF

Stage

Characteristics

I. Developing a Macroeconomic/Fiscal

Framework

A model that makes the multi- year projection of revenues and expenditure

II. Developing Sectoral Programs

* Reviewing of policy objectives, outputs, and activities

* Agreement on programs and sub-programs, developing performance indicators and prioritizing spending

* Costing of programmes

III. Hearing on Sectoral Programme

Analysing the sector reviews carried out in stage- 2

IV. Developing Sectoral Expenditure Framework

Consensus-building among the key players on strategic resource allocation

V. Defining Sector Resource Allocations

Determining Medium term sectoral allocation based on budget ceilings

VI. Preparing Sectoral Budgets

Preparing of budget estimates by ministries within cabinet approved

VII. Final Approval

Reviewing sectoral budget estimates again and placing before cabinet and parliament for approval

Source: Adapted;[PEM Handbook (World Bank, 1998a: 47-51) cited in N.Oyugi. L, (2008, p-3, 4)

and Houerou and Taliercio, (2002, p-3)]

Annexure- 2

2.2 A General Overview of the Empirical Literature

Many developed countries like UK, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Sweden, Germany, USA are practising multi- year budgeting. The MTEF of UK maintains a firm consistency in controlling public expenditure having ‘focused on outcomes and efficient service delivery' (HM Treasury, 2007).

World Bank, DFID and other Aid agencies influenced many developing and transitional countries to initiate series of reforms (Wyane, 2005). The MTEF is introduced in more than 25 countries in Asia, Africa (e.g., Benin, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Kenya, Zambia) Latin America and Eastern Europe. In Asia, MTEF has already been introduced in Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Almost all the developing countries have 3 years MTEFs except Mozambique (6 years) and South Africa (4 years) (Houerou and Taliercio, 2002). Most of the countries integrated development and non- development expenditure in the MTEF except Guinea and Rwanda (only recurrent budget). In Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, civil society representatives participate in Sector Expenditure Frameworks (SEFs) preparing process (Houerou and Taliercio, 2002). Suriyaarachchi (2004) argued that Nepal has improved in development budget formulation and execution after introducing MTEF in Fiscal Year 2002-03. Assessments on the MTEF in many African countries are carried out considering the organizational change and procedural change rather than assessing the progress achieved through implementing the MTEF (Bird, A, 2003; Holmes and Evans, 2003; Jennes. G, 2003; Carlier. K, 2003; Short. J, 2003)

2.3 The MTEF and the public expenditure management (PEM)

ADB (2001) suggested that ‘Public expenditure management (PEM) is the latest approach that emphasizes on achieving the desired policy outcomes through public sector budgeting. PEM considered expenditure as an instrument to produce optimal output whereas conventional budgetary process sets focus on spending as an input'.

PEM emphasizes on three main outcomes in budgetary system. The objectives of PEM are to maintain fiscal discipline, to promote allocative efficiency and to enhance operational efficiency (World Bank, 1998a cited in DFID, 2001, p-8). Allen Schick (1998, p-2) describes three basic elements of PEM as follows:

1.

Aggregate fiscal discipline

, which usually means that the public spending limit should not exceed the total revenue (spending in accordance with the affordability) and should be ‘sustainable over the medium-term and beyond' (ibid, p-2).

2.

Allocative efficiency

, which refers to the condition that public spending, should be prudent. ‘Expenditure should be based on government priorities' and it should be directed to the most beneficial programmes and activities that ultimately increase the effectiveness of the budgetary spending. It means that the allocation is better targeted shifting from ‘lesser to higher priorities and from less to more effective programs' (ibid-2).

3. Operational efficiency

means getting the best value of public money. Quality of the public services should be reasonable and it should be given at the lowest possible cost (ADB, 2001, p-1).

According to Fjeldstad et al. (2004 p.2) cited in N.Oyugi. L, (2008, p- 2),

The objectives of MTEF are

:

  • to maintain ‘aggregate fiscal discipline'
  • to promote ‘resource allocation to strategic priorities' (allocative efficiency)
  • to enhance ‘efficient and effective use of resources' (operational efficiency)

It suggests that there is a close connection between MTEF and PEM objectives.

2.3.1The MTEF and improvement in effectiveness and efficiency of

budgetary expenditure

ADB suggested that ‘the MTEF is one mechanism through which a PEM system can be operationalzed' (2001- issue- 2, p-4). So, the improvement in effectiveness and efficiency of budgetary expenditure depends on to what extent the MTEF is sought to strengthen the PEM objectives.

Fiscal discipline, allocative efficiency and operational efficiency are ‘interdependent' (DFID, 2001). Allen Schick (1998, p. 2) argued that the lack of fiscal discipline leads to improper resource allocation and operational inefficiency. So, fiscal discipline can promote both allocative and operational efficiency.

Fiscal discipline is maintained when implementation of budget ensures that actual expenditure does not exceed the spending limit and even when the increase in spending (% as a share of GDP) is consistent with the increase in revenue each year (Schick, A, 1998, p. 12, 67). So, two criteria- conformity with the spending limit and consistency in the trend of sectoral expenditure influence fiscal discipline.

Allocative efficiency means the ability of the government to distribute resources considering the effectiveness of public programmes in accordance with its strategic objectives or policy planning. It is the capacity to reallocate resources from old to new priorities and from less to more effective programmes. Delegation of major allocative responsibility to sectoral ministries also promotes allocative efficiency (ibid, p. 17, 90). So, four criteria- change in sectoral allocation, strategic resource allocationlinked to policy planning, spending in priority areas/ programmes anddevolution of allocative responsibilities to line ministries influence allocative efficiency.

MTEF offers greater predictability of fund since it establishes ‘baseline budgets for the upcoming years' (while one year budget cannot) and thus improves operational efficiency (ADB, 2001- issue- 2, p-4). World Bank (1998) argues that predictability of funds (assurance to spending agencies as to when and where the resources will be available) is one of the major factors that influence operational efficiency (p- 28). Operational efficiency put emphasis on output and outcomes rather than input (Schick, A, 1998, p. 21). So, two criteria- greater predictability of public funds and progress in achieving output targets influence operational efficiency.

2.3.2 Evidence from Cross-country Studies

This is to explore what criteria/ characteristics are set out by different countries to assess the impact of MTEF with respect to three levels of PEM outcomes. However, most of the studies are found to use one or more of the following criteria.

Reducing fiscal deficit

Since the adoption of the MTEF, Malawi reduced its fiscal deficit from 15% of GDP to 5% in the 1998/ 1999 budgetary- year and a further reduction to 4% in 1999/ 2000. So, it achieved some progress in reducing fiscal deficit (Anipe et al., 1999, p. 15).

Adequate information availability

In Cambodia, the MTEF was introduced in two ministries (education and health) and while preparing the sectoral expenditure for 2003-2005, health ministry had inadequate information regarding user fees and other payments, which in turn prevented from making a realistic estimation (Dom et al., 2003, p. 30).

Above two criteria are concerned with aggregate fiscal discipline.

Strategic resource allocation linked to policy, planning

In case of Ghana, the MTEF was adopted in 1999; the resources were allocated in line with government development policy documents, e.g. ‘Ghana Vision 2020' (Anipa et al., 1999, p-21). The MTEF in Uganda achieved a considerable success in integrating the PEAP (‘Poverty Eradication Action Plan') within the Budgetary process and expenditure planning is carried out considering PEAP at the central and local government levels (Bird A, 2003).

Change in sectoral allocation

In Uganda, actual spending increased from 19.8% of total expenditure to 26.9% in 1998/99 (Bevan and Palomba, 2000, p. 18). In Benin, budgetary allocations had increased significantly to the ‘priority sector' since 1998. Recurrent budget for education was 27.4% of the total expenditure in 1998 and it increased to 39.5% in 2001 and capital budget was 4.5% of the total expenditure in 1998 and that increased enormously to 40.7%. Allocations towards the health budget have increased from 1.4 percent of GDP in 1998 to 2.3 percent of GDP in 2001 (Carlier K, 2003, p. 23-24).

Greater responsibility to line ministries

The MTEF in Ghana promoted allocative efficiency as line ministries enjoying ‘greater responsibility for allocating resources to priority activities' which ensures effective and efficient use of limited resources (Anipa et al., 1999, p- 7).

Improvement in budgetary classification

The MTEF in Malawi promotes allocative efficiency as it improved in budgetary classification by adopting activity- based budgeting that reviews the on- going programmes and creates sub- programmes to specify the activities (ibid, p. 12-25).

From the above analysis it is evident that three criteria- strategic resource allocation linked to policy planning, change in sectoral allocation, improvement in budgetary classification are relevant to allocative efficiency and greater responsibility to line ministries is concerned with both allocative and operational efficiency (discussed in section 2.1.3).

Fund predictability

In Malawi, the allocation for health sector was 20.7% of the total development budget for the 1996/1997 fiscal year, but the actual release was only 3.6% of the development expenditure (Oxford Policy Management, 2000, p. 4).

Reducing the deviation between budget and actual spending

In case of Tanzania, from 1995 to 1998, the average BDI (Budget Deviation Index) was equal to 33% before introducing the MTEF and after the MTEF since 1999, it was reduced to 25% (Houerou and Taliercio, 2002, p. 21).

Improvement in accountability and transparency

In Namibia, MTEF has improved transparency as the framework explains inputs required for all programmes and expected outcomes. It also increased accountability because public has the access to the information regarding government priorities set in the medium term framework (N Oyugi L, 2008, p-12).

The above two criteria are relevant to operational efficiency as discussed earlier.

2.4 Findings

The country assessments of the MTEF indicate that all types of criteria/ conditions were not used by any single country to assess the impact of the MTEF. From the above analysis, the following key criteria/ principles can be brought together which appear to be important to examine the MTEF outcomes at three levels- fiscal discipline, allocative and operational efficiency.

Basic Indicators of PEM

Criteria/ Principles that influence those indicators

Description

Fiscal discipline

Reducing fiscal deficit

Fiscal deficit means total public spending exceeds total revenue (earning)

Conformity with the spending limit

Spending limit means spending within the budgetary allocation

Consistency in the trend of sectoral expenditure

Consistency means increasing trend in the sectoral expenditure keeping pace with the increase in total spending

Allocative efficiency

Change in sectoral allocation

Change means increasing or decreasing in allocation

Improvement in budgetary classification

Budgetary classification means budgets are classified in different categories to introduce some order from diversity such as functional classification (e.g. education, health, defence), economic classification (e.g. pay and allowances, goods and services) (ADBI, 2005)

Strategic resource allocation linked to policy planning

Resources are allocated in accordance with the policy objectives

Spending in priority areas/ programmes

Spending to the most beneficial programme

Devolution of allocative responsibilities to line ministries

More authority and responsibility to line ministries to allocate and utilize resources according with their priority needs

Operational efficiency

Fund predictability

Predictability means assurance to spending agencies as to when and where the resources will be available (DFID, 2001)

Improvement in accountability and transparency

Accountability means that budget officials and line ministries will be held responsible ‘for the exercise of authority vested in them' (DFID, 2001, p-12, 13)

Transparency means the ‘availability of budgetary information to the public' so that they can challenge the Government to promote the efficiency of expenditure (ibid, p-25-26)

Reducing the deviation between budget and actual spending

Reducing the gap between budgetary allocation and actual spending as well as over- spending and under- spending

Progress in achieving output targets

analysing progress against agreed milestones (performance targets) set by the MTEF ministries

In the next chapter, the changes due to adopting the MTEF in the education and health budget will be examined.

Asian development bank institute, 2005

http://www.adbi.org/files/2005.09.05.cpp.budget.classification.pdf

Chapter 3: Changes due to the MTEF in Bangladesh

This chapter addresses the first research question of Chapter- 1 which refers to the changes took place because of the MTEF introduced in the education and health budget. For this, it focuses on the budgetary reforms in Bangladesh. Experiences with the introduction of the MTEF are discussed and finally the changes due to adopting the MTEF (the traditional versus the MTEF) have been analysed.

3.1 Why the MTEF in Bangladesh

Before the MTEF, budgets were prepared by making arbitrary incremental changes to the preceding year's allocation. No strategic planning was present in budgetary process, non- development and development budgets were prepared separately and emphasis was laid on input rather than output (BCAS-2006/09, p. 53). Therefore, to enhance the credibility of the budget, to face the strategies set out in the PRSP with the macroeconomic framework and to ‘create a more disciplined, dynamic, efficient and modern public financial management system' (MTBF-05/06, p. i), the MTEF was introduced.

3.2 Budgetary reforms and the MTEF in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a densely populated developing country which has a less public spending as a share of GDP (Socio- economic indicators are shown in

Appendix- 1

). For the effective and efficient use of scant resources, important reforms have been carried out in public financial management since 1990s. According to World Bank, ‘Bangladesh re-emerged as a democracy, successfully restarted reforms on critical fronts while ensuring sound macroeconomic and fiscal management' (BCAS, 2006/09, p-9). A committee on Reforms in budgeting and Expenditure Control (CORBEC) was formed in March 1990 and this committee identified a number of problems including budgeting procedure, budget classification, budget presentation, separate non- development (recurrent) and development (investment) budgets preparation, emphasis laid on the inputs rather than outputs, etc. It was also difficult to identify the flow of funds as non- development and development budgets used separate classification systems and that was not computerized. To implement the recommendation of CORBEC, RIBEC (Reform in Budgeting and Expenditure Control) was formed with the financial support from the DFID (Department for International Development). A detailed operational unit wise and economic code wise classification chart was prepared and published, financial rules and reporting systems were upgraded and large number of Government officials were trained through the RIBEC from Phase- 1 (1993-1996), Phase -2 (1996-1997), Phase- 3 (1997-1999). (FIMA, 2007).

Public Expenditure Review Commission was formed in June 2002 and according to their recommendation (December, 2003) the existing budget preparation system was replaced by the MTEF (MTBF, 2005-06). A new budget guideline was incorporated in the MTEF in view of strategic budgeting and better management of development and non- development budgets (BCAS, 2006-09, p-20).

3.2.1 Introduction of MTEF

Multiyear budgeting links between aggregate medium term plans and annual budgets (OECD, 1995). In most countries traditional budgeting system allocate resources on a historical incremental basis and MoF (Ministry of Finance) exercises its last minute discretionary cut in expenditure. In Bangladesh, the MTEF was first introduced in fiscal year 2005/06 in four ministries including Ministry of Education (MoE). In the following year, MTEF was introduced in Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). Budget is prepared for

03 years (three)

under the MTEF system and it consists of

top- down process

as resource ceiling is given by MoF to line ministries before preparing the budget and

bottom- up process

as estimation of costs of current and medium term activities are prepared by the line ministries keeping conformity with the line ministries policies to go with the available resources (MTBF, 2005/06). In FY (Fiscal Year) 2009/10, a total of twenty ministries which spend almost 63% of total budgetary spending, prepared their budgets under the MTEF (MTBF, 2009/10).

3.2.2The MTEF objectives in Bangladesh

The existing budgetary system is replaced by the MTEF in view of some specific objectives. According to the MTBF (2005/06, p. 3), the objectives are:

a) ‘keeping the public expenditure within a sustainable limit in the medium and

long term';

b) ‘enhancing the participation and role of the line ministries in formulating

policy planning and allocating resources accordingly'

c) ‘improving predictability of fund with a medium term view to ensure realistic

plan for forward estimates';

d) ‘ensuring efficient and effective use of resources, a more explicit linkage

between the PRSP (Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper) and other policies for

strategic resource allocation by line ministries';

e) ‘establishing performance indicators for the ministries, so that a clear

indication of the desired output from the inputs provided through the budget

can be shown'.

3.2.3 Experiences with introducing the MTEF in Bangladesh

The MTEF introduced a systematic procedure for preparation of budget. It entails a coordinated system with many interrelated phases (MTBF, 2005/06). BC (Budget Circular) - 1 issued to the MTEF ministries to formulate their budget framework in 2005. One of the important phases is strategic phase which was completely absent in preceding budgetary system. The strategic phase of budget preparation under the MTEF in Bangladesh is as below:

Stage II. Strategic phase

Developing Sectoral Programs

* Reviewing the Ministry Budget Framework (MBF) by the Finance Division (FD) and Planning Commission (PC) together

* Finalizing the indicative expenditure ceiling (for both non - development and development) and revenue target for line ministries by FD and PC together

* Preparing the MBF by line ministries in order to submit a single budget estimate as well as the forward budget estimates for both non- development and development spending considering medium term strategic objectives, priority programmes, performance indicator, etc and sending it to MoF and PC after the approval of Budget Management Committee (BMC)

Source: Adapted; (MTBF-2005/06 and BC-1, 2008) -

Annex- 3

 

The Finance Division, Planning Commission and the concerned ministries hold meetings jointly to examine the planned expenditure estimates and projections prepared by the MTEF ministries considering the expenditure ceiling and in some cases; adjustments are suggested (MTBF-2006/07, p-2).

After the MTEF, substantial progress has been made in gender budgeting as the MTEF ministries have to consider the gender- related impacts (who will get the benefit- male or female) on their strategic objectives while preparing budget proposals. Education and health sectors are getting continuous priority in case of budgetary allocation after the MTEF. Poverty reduction initiatives are also considered as priority objectives (MTBF, 2007/08, p-3).

3.2 Changes due to the MTEF in the Education and Health

The following study identifies a series of changes occurred after implementing the MTEF, are grouped in three categories.

* Institutional

* Process

* Technical

3.2.1 Institutional Change

Here institutional change implies the changes in role played by the line ministries after the MTEF, the dominant role of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of planning is decreased as more authority is delegated to line ministries.

3.2.2.1 Changes in role played by Ministry of Finance and the MTEF ministries

In the old budgetary system, FD (Finance Division) controlled all budgetary managements. Increased allocation depends on bargaining and persuasion. The officials of Ministry of Education (MoE) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) have to convince the FD and PC (Planning Commission) for higher allocation. But under the MTEF, MoE and MoHFW are enjoying more authority and responsibility for budget preparation and expenditure allocation. Ministries have the flexibility to allocate and use the fund according to their particular needs and priorities (MTBF, 2005/06). In MoE and MoHFW, Budget Working Groups (BWG) and Budget Management Committee (BMC) are formed under the MTEF process. The development and non- development budget preparation cells are merged together in MoF (MTBF, 2006/07, p-3).

3.2.2 Process Change

The analysis is to see how the budget estimation and preparation procedures under the MTEF are changed comparing to the old system.

3.2.2.1 Multi- year projections and Roll-Forward

In the old budgetary system, the budget was prepared for only one year. The MTEFs of MoE and MoHFW include a three year period - estimated budget for the first year and projections for the following two years. Under Article 87 of the Constitution of Bangladesh, only the first year estimated budgets are submitted to the parliament. The two outer year's projections are treated as indicative figures. In the second year, the MTEFs roll forward to maintain three year forward planning perspective and after necessary review the second year projected estimates are considered as budget (MTBF, 2007/08, p-2).The table below shows the first year budgets and next two years projections.

The below shows an example of forward budget estimates of MoE and MoHFW (In crore Taka, 1Crore =10 Million)

Ministry

 

Budget 2007-08

Projection 2008-09

Projection 2009-10

MoE

Non- Development

5,190

5,687

6,325

 

Development

1,315

2,158

2,508

 

Total

6,506

7,846

8,833

MoHFW

Non- Development

2,876

3,307

3,636

 

Development

2,606

2,875

3,032

 

Total

5,482

6,182

6,669

Source: MTBF-2007-08, Finance Division, MoF

3.2.2.2 Integration of development and non- development budget

In the old budgetary system, development and non- development budgets were prepared separately by FD (Finance Division) and PD (Planning Division) respectively. Under the MTEF, a single indicative resource ceiling is given by FD in consultation with PD for Development and Non- development expenditure to MoE and MoHFW (MTBF, 2006/07, p-2).

3.2.2.3 Introduction of different budget preparation phases under the MTEF

Under the MTEF, budget preparation process consists of three phases- strategic phase (discussed in 3.2.3), estimation phase and budget approval phase. Under the strategic phase a prescribed budget format known as Ministry Budget Framework (MBF) is to be filled- up by MoE, MoPME and MoHFW in accordance with the guideline framed by Ministry of Finance (BC-1, 2008). In the old budgetary system, no strategic phase in the budget preparation process was present and no prescribed format like MBF was available.

3.2.2.4Participation of high officials in the budget formulation process

In the past, bottom level officials formulated budget considering it as a routine work. However, under the MTEF the Minister and high officials including the Secretary of MoE and MoHFW are involved in the process of formulation of the budget (MTBF, 2006/07, p-5). MoE, MoPME, FD, PD are working with close coordination to develop the MTEF and to upgrade the Ministry Budget Framework (MBF).

3.2.2.5 Establishing linkage between policies, strategic objectives and budget that

helps to prepare a realistic expenditure plan

In the preceding budgetary system, budgets were prepared on incremental basis without considering strategic objectives, policy priorities. After introducing the MTEF, MoE and MoPME and MoHFW submit a ‘concise justification of the ministry's budget in the narrative section of the MBF' which was absolutely absent from the earlier budgeting system. This MBF includes medium term strategic objectives (e.g. Increased primary enrolment for education, Improve mother and child health status for Health), priority programmes, programme spending strategies, projected ministry expenditures, revenue receipts, etc (MTBF, 2006/07, p-4). So, the expenditure plan is more realistic under the MTEF than that of old budgetary system.

3.2.2.6 Change in evaluation procedure through establishing performance indicators

In the old budgetary system, there was no such performance indicator to measure the efficiency in public spending. Performance indicators are developed to assess the output achieved from public spending. MoE, MoPME and MoHFW identify the key performance indicators (outcome or higher level output) against which the progress towards attainment of the strategic objectives can be measured. The MTEF ministries then specify the related strategic objectives and fix the targets for the budget year and for the medium term (at the time of budget preparation, the MTEF ministries fill- up the form set out in the MBF every year) (BC-1, 2008, p-10) The Budget Monitoring and Resource Committee (BMRC) has been formed to monitor the implementation of the MTEF (MTBF, 2006/07, p-2).

The following table shows the Key Performance Indicator (Partial) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Performance

Indicators

Actual

2005-06

Target

2006-07

Actual

2006-07

Target

2007-08

Actual

2007-08

 

Post- MTBF

1. Neonatal mortality rate decreased/ 1000 live births

32

30

32

27

32

2. Infant mortality rate decreased /1000 live births

48

45.5

48

43

52

3. Under five child mortality rate decreased /1000 live births

70

65.5

65

60

N/A

4. Maternal mortality rate decreased /1000 live births

2.75

2.64

2.75

2.56

2.90

5. Antenatal care increased /100

50

63.75

51.7

67.25

50

Source: MTBF, 2008-09, Finance Division, MoF

3.2.3 Technical Change:

3.2.3.1 The development of new instruments

- The MTEF and MTEF frameworks, MBF, resource models, standard budget formulation, implementation and evaluation formats, investment appraisal techniques, etc.

3.2.3.2 Integrated Budgeting and Accounting System (IBAS)

After the MTEF, a web based ‘integrated budgeting and accounting system' (IBAS) is introduced in MoE, MoPME and MoHFW (MTBF, 2007/08, p-14). Recently a wide area network (WAN) is established to connect district accounts offices including the divisional accounts offices (BS- 2009/10, p-58) All these will ensure availability of timely and accurate financial information and thus it will improve the formulation and execution of budget.

3.3 Findings

The following table- 3.1 summarize the changes occurred after implementing the MTEF in the education and health budget and the impact (what is actually happening) of the MTEF

Table 3.1 The old budgetary system versus the MTEF

Elements of change

Previous budgetary system

Changes due to adopting the MTEF

Impact of the MTEF

Process

1. Multi year- budgeting and rolling forward

Budget was prepared for one year

Now 3 years estimates are prepared, first year estimate is considered as budget and rolled forward each year. So, first year's estimate becomes the annual budget

After the MTEF, Resources are not cut back as the unspent balances are carried forward. Therefore, it reduces wastage of public money

2. Linking policy, planning and budgeting

Policy planning was seen as a political process. The budget was incremental just adding a margin on the top of the previous year's budget, little thoughts were given to the strategic priorities

Now budget is linked with the policy objectives as strategic objectives, priority programmes are set out in the MTEF in line with the policy, planning

There is a positive change in the pattern of resource allocation pattern as strategic priorities are taken into consideration. It helps to prepare more realistic budget than before

3. Integrating development and non- development budget

Development and non- development budget were prepared separately. It caused duplication and overlapping in budgetary process

Budget is now prepared in a single ceiling for development and non- development budget

Now coordination is improved, lack of duplication and demarcation between development and non- development budget is removed

4. Establishing performance indicators

Emphasis was laid on budgetary input rather than output. So, there was no output target for the ministries.

Now output targets for specific ministries are fixed in the budget

Although output targets are not achieved by the ministries but it makes easier for them to know how far they are from the agreed target.

5. Involving high officials in budget formulating process

Lower officers carried out that

Now high officials are involved

It ensures better coordination and team work.

6. Introducing Ministry Budget Framework (MBF)

It was absent before

Now a prescribed format named MBF is distributed between the MTEF ministries where they have to put their objectives, priority programmes, output targets, etc.

It introduces more organized and systemic approach in budgetary process.

Technical

7. Introducing a web based ‘Integrated Budgeting and Accounting System' (IBAS)

IBAS was not present before

After the MTEF, it was introduced

It ensures the availability of necessary financial information quickly

Institutional

8. More authority and responsibility to line ministries

MoF and MoP plays the major role in budget preparation and resource allocation

Now the line ministries are given more authority and responsibility to allocate and use fund in line with their priority needs

It enhances the efficient and effective use of limited resources

The above indicates that a number of significant changes have been occurred due to adopting the MTEF in the formulation and execution of the education and health budgets. And it is evident that these changes clearly distinguish the new budgetary system (MTEF) from the old.

In the next chapter, the impact of the MTEF on the education and health budget in view of three elements of PEM will be examined.

Chapter- 4: Impact of the MTEF on the Education and Health budget

This chapter will address the second research question in relation to the education and health budget in view of three basic elements of Public Expenditure Management (PEM) - fiscal discipline; allocative efficiency and operational efficiency as the MTEF sought to strengthen those three outcomes. The effectiveness and efficiency of budgetary spending is improved when those three basic elements are achieved. For this reason, the impact of the MTEF on the education and health sector expenditure in Bangladesh will be analysed and the experiences in attaining those objectives of PEM will be assessed.

The chapter is mainly consists of two parts-

Part A

and

Part B

. Part A will assess the impact of the MTEF on the education sector and Part B will assess the impact on the health sector.

4.1 Data, methodology and analytical framework

The analysis is both qualitative and quantitative and it fully depends upon the availability of data from secondary sources. The analysis is also very simplistic in nature as it does not take into account some other factors like unexpected macroeconomic shocks, adjustments in debt payments that might have destabilized the MTEF. The scope for the analysis is also very limited due to data unavailability. The emphasis was laid on the pre and post MTEF period and data were collected mostly from annual financial statements, Bangladesh from FY01 to FY10, monthly fiscal reports from FY05 to FY09, public expenditure review especially 2006/07, Bangladesh economic review from FY04 to FY08, documents on the MTEF from FY06 to FY10 and also from other sources and then those were assembled in different tables in order to relate them with different criteria.

In order to assess the impact of the MTEF, the criteria that influence the three objectives of PEM are identified (discussed in chapter- 2). The analytical framework is adapted and it is mainly based on the literature of Schick, A (1998), World Bank (1998), DFID (2001) and some other empirical evidences (also discussed in chapter- 2). The assessment will consider the following criteria:

Basic Indicators of PEM

Criteria/ Principles that influence those indicators

Fiscal discipline

Conformity with the spending limit

Consistency in the trend of sectoral expenditure

Allocative Efficiency

Change in sectoral allocation

Strategic resource allocation linked to policy, planning

Spending in priority areas/ programmes

Devolution of allocative responsibilities to line ministries

Operational efficiency

Convergence between Expenditure estimates and out- turn

Greater predictability of funds

Progress in achieving output targets

One of the reasons for selecting those criteria is that most of them go with the ‘MTEF objectives' in Bangladesh (discussed in chapter- 3). Some other relevant criteria (discussed in chapter- 2) are not examined mainly due to data unavailability. For example, fiscal deficit relates with aggregate fiscal discipline is not considered here as it is not relevant to sectoral impact analysis (health and education). Improvement in budgetary classification relates to allocative efficiency and improvement in accountability and transparency relates to operational efficiency are not examined due to data and relevant information non-availability.

4.2 Part A- Assessing the impact of the MTEF on the education budget

4.2.1 Fiscal discipline

MTEF helps to prepare a consistent and realistic estimate that is allocated between public sectors in line with the spending priorities through annual budgeting process. It keeps government spending within sustainable limit and thus promotes fiscal discipline. Wheather education budget achieved the fiscal discipline after introducing the MTEF, will be analysed considering two criteria- conformity with the spending limit and consistency in the trend of sectoral expenditure.

4.2.1.1 Conformity with the spending limit

The analysis is carried out to see whether the actual spending exceeded the allocation specified in the original budget for education. If it exceeds, it will contribute to the

Table 4.1: Education budget1 and actual spending during 2002-03 to 2008-09

Education Sector

Crore Taka (1 Crore= 10 Million)

Result

(OS= Over- spent)

Original Budget

Actual spending

Non- Development

 

Pre- MTEF

2002/03

3,875

4,021*

OS

2003/04

4,187

4,418

OS

2004/05

4,706

4,989

OS

Post- MTEF

2005/06

6,374

6,220

 

2006/07

7,215

7,524

 

2007/08

8,659

8,143

 

2008/09

9,603

9,327*

 

Development

 

Pre- MTEF

2002/03

2,994

2,319

 

2003/04

2,709

2,100

 

2004/05

3,153

1,978

 

Post- MTEF

2005/06

3,315

2,584

 

2006/07

3,878

2,513

 

2007/08

3,710

2,747

 

2008/09

3,496

3,205*

 

Sources: Adapted; calculated from the data in Annual Financial Statements (AFS) (FY03 to FY10), Monthly fiscal reports (FY05 to FY 09), Finance Division,Ministry of Finance(MoF), Bangladesh-

Appendix-4

1 Education sector consists of three ministries MoE, MoPME and MoSIC (Ministry of Science, Information and

Communication. So, education budget is the sum of those ministries's budget.

2 & 3 FY03 means Fiscal Year 2002/03 and FY05 means Fiscal Year 2004/05. In Bangladesh, Fiscal Year starts

from July of the current year to June of the next year.

* Revised budget for FY03 and FY09, figures in F03 and FY09 are calculated based on AFS- FY03 and FY09.

overall fiscal deficit. So, keeping conformity with the spending limit is very important to maintain aggregate fiscal discipline.

The Table-4.1 shows that in Pre- MTEF period, actual spending went beyond the budget allocation in case of non- development expenditure from FY032 to FY053. After adopting the MTEF, the actual spending did not cross the budget allocation in case of both development and non- development expenditure.

4.2.1.2 Consistency in the trend of sectoral expenditure

Here the analysis is to see whether there are is an increasing trend in the education budget keeping pace with the increase in total public spending. The Table-4.2 shows that after the MTEF, the education sector is manifesting some consistency since the allocation is 2.1 percent of GDP from FY05 to FY08. Allocation dropped a little in FY09 and total expenditure decreased as well.

Table 4.2: Distribution of public expenditure in Education sector from FY 2005

to 2009 (% of GDP)

Source: Adapted; (MTBF-2009/10, p-36), Figures for FY09 is calculated based on (MTBF-2009/10 annex-1, p-64

and AFS 2009-10) at a glance, Finance Division, MoF-

Appendix-5

4.2.2 Allocative efficiency

The effectiveness of the budget increases when most beneficial areas/ programmes get the priority and resources are allocated to those. It means shifting spending from lower priority to higher priority to ensure better outcomes. So, where and how the resources are allocated, is very important to get the fruitful results and the MTEF helps to promote this allocative efficiency. After introducing the MTEF, to what extent education budget achieved the allocative efficiency, it will be analysed in view of four criteria- change in sectoral allocation; strategic resource allocation linked to policy, planning; priority spending; and devolution of allocative responsibilities to line ministries.

4.2.2.1 Change in sectoral allocation

The analysis is to see whether allocation to the education budget increased and to what range after adopting the MTEF. Table- 4.3 shows that highest priority has been accorded to education sector in terms of allocation as before and average share of total expenditure was 17% from FY06 to FY09 comparing to average 15% in pre- MTEF period (FY04 to FY05). Figure- 4.1 indicates that allocation is improved (in current Taka) for education after the MTEF.

Source: Adapted;AFS (FY03 to FY10), Finance Division, MoF

Table 4.3: Sectoral Distribution of Total Programme Spending 4 FY04 to FY08

(percent of total programme expenditure as per the Revised Budget)

Sources: Adapted; MTBF 2008-09, p-301 MTBF-2009-10(Annex-A, p-64), Finance Division, MoF, Figures for FY09 is calculated based on MTBF-2009/10 annex-1, p-64-

Appendix-5

4Total Programme Spending = Total Spending less Interest Charges less Other Non-Assigned Expenditure

Table 4.4: Original Budgetary allocation for Education sector by year (both

development and non- development) Taka in crore (1 Crore= 10 million)

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Education Sector

01-02

02-03

03-04

04-05

05-06

06-07

07-08

08-09

09-10

 

Pre- MTEF

Post- MTEF

Current Crore Taka

6,166

6,869

6,896

7,859

9,689

11,093

12,369

13,099

14,387

Constant Crore Taka5

(1995/96=100)

4,733

5,052

4,792

5,129

5,840

6,238

6,327

6,285

6,451

Yearly change as %

(In constant price term)

-

6.73%

- 5.14%

7.03%

13.87%

6.80%

1.42%

- 0.65%

2.65%