The World Bank has forwarded 70-point agenda to the government on financial, social, judiciary, election, corruption and governance for implementation in the current 2007-2008 fiscal year.
The future lending from World Bank and International Monetary Fund is linked with the implementation of the key issues of the agenda, officials from the Ministry of Finance said. They also said that many of the points in the agenda had already been incorporated in the budget for 2007-08 fiscal years, while the government is working on a number of other issues.
Some of the issues included in the agenda are related to revenue and monetary matters, seeking measures to maintain macroeconomic stability, and further tightening of monetary policy to combat inflation. The global lender wants commitments to eliminate average nominal protection rates, separate tax policy and planning from tax administration, and combine the two large taxpayers units (tax and value added tax).
Bringing the Agrani Bank to the point of sale, revamping the boards of Agrani, Janata and Sonali banks, amending guidelines for provident fund and insurance fund to energise treasury bond market and reforming the insurance law are among the World Bank’s agenda for financial sector. Its agenda for power and energy sectors include financial restructuring plan for power companies and enabling private investment in power generation and operationalising Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission.
Luckily the World Bank is not planning to have a consultation to assess progress on the use of a non-intrusive and streamlined new conditionality in Bangladesh – they would have a hard time to come up with the right evidence to support the expected trends!
The full text of the news report, written by Nazmul Ahsan and Obaidul Ghani, can be found in the Daily NewAge, July 21, 2007. Dhaka, Bangladesh