Wednesday 29th of May 2024

Carry out reforms, get more loans, WB VP suggests

Daily Bangladesh Tribune »

The World Bank suggested the government carry out the reforms earlier tagged with the lender’s ongoing budgetary support worth US$500 million to pave the way for such loans in future, officials said on Monday.

The government has sought another budgetary support, at least $500 million, from the same institution to facilitate recovering from the adverse impacts of the current global economic crisis.

“We’ve been advised to complete the reforms as we sought extended support,” a senior official at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) told the FE.

The WB’s Regional Vice President for South Asia Martin Raiser during his meeting with the government agencies concerned put forward the suggestion. He concluded his three-day visit to Dhaka on Monday.

Under the Covid-19 emergency response and pandemic preparedness project, The WB has already released the first tranche of $250 million budgetary support out of the assured $500 million in the last fiscal year (FY 2021-22).

The second tranche would be disbursed subject to meeting the conditions imposed by the lender.

Meanwhile, Mr Raiser reaffirmed the World Bank’s continued support to the country so that it can navigate through the current economic challenges and achieve resilience and inclusive growth.

On the concluding day of his visit, Mr Raiser called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and thanked her for the country’s leading role in climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness, said a press release issued by the WB’s Dhaka office.

According to a BSS report quoting PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, the PM said Bangladesh wants to maintain an open and transparent relation with the WB.

Referring to the Russia-Ukraine war, she requested the WB to take measures for stopping it as the entire world has been facing the global crisis stemming from the war.

About the climate change issue, she said her government is working on adaptation and mitigation of climate change with its own resources.

The prime minister also put emphasis on strengthening connectivity to further accelerate development.

She said her government is developing the country with small, mid and long term plans, adding that they are implementing Delta Plan 2100 to ensure a better and beautiful life for generations.

Mr Raiser proposed to jointly celebrate 50 years of relations between Bangladesh and the WB.

“The World Bank is proud to be a part of Bangladesh’s tremendous development journey for the past 50 years. Bangladesh provides valuable insights and important lessons in rapid poverty reduction and sustained growth for many other countries around the world,” he was quoted in the statement as saying.

During his visit, Mr Raiser also met with the Finance Minister and Bangladesh Bank Governor and discussed policy measures to mitigate the recent global shocks and build economic resilience.

They also discussed the World Bank’s support for Bangladesh’s development priorities.

Mr Raiser was accompanied by Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank’s incoming Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, who is going to assume his position on January 1, 2023.

“The war in Ukraine, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the climate crisis have created unprecedented challenges for the global economy. Every country is struggling to cope, and Bangladesh is no exception,” he said.

Bangladesh can sustain rapid growth by strengthening macro, fiscal and financial sector reform and continuing investment in human capital and climate resilience. “We are ready to lend our full support to these efforts at this challenging time,” he added.

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