World Bank urges prompt fulfillment of conditions for $250m budgetary support

The World Bank (WB) has urged Bangladesh to quickly implement the conditions to receive an additional $250 million as budget support under the Bangladesh Second Recovery and Resilience Development Policy Credit.

Under this loan agreement, the organisation gave $250 million in budget support to Bangladesh in March last year.

At that time, the WB imposed 12 conditions on the country including formulating the national tariff policy, automated invoicing system for income tax, amending the Bank Company Act, formulation and implementation of a reclassification list of social protection etc – most of which have not yet been finally implemented.

On Tuesday, the representatives of the World Bank held a meeting with the Additional Secretary of the Finance Department Rehana Perven. In the meeting, the WB officials urged for the speedy implementation of the conditions.

On condition of anonymity, an official of the finance ministry told The Business Standard that this budget support is very important amid the ongoing dollar crisis in the country. “The implementation of most of the conditions of the World Bank has already started. We will prioritise fulfilling the conditions for getting the loan.”

He said that the World Bank has given 12 conditions for this loan, some of which are under implementation. For example, the National Tariff Policy has already been drafted which will be finalised in an inter-ministerial meeting soon.

Another condition was to introduce an automated invoicing system for income tax and the NBR has already implemented it, said the official.

Besides, initiatives have also been taken to amend the Bank Company Act as per the conditions. The International Monetary Fund has also made amendments to the act as a condition of its $4.7 billion loan.

Other terms of the World Bank include the creation of a public procurement authority. Officials at the finance division said that works to fulfil this condition have already achieved a lot of progress.
To meet the WB conditions, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) is implementing a project to develop a National Household Database. The power department has also issued a circular regarding the introduction of public-private partnerships (PPP) in the power transmission sector.

However, there is no progress in fulfilling the conditions such as the formulation and implementation of a reclassification list of social protection, issuing circulars for strengthening corporate governance of state-owned banks and adoption of the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan.

Source: TBS News

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