Govt, WB negotiate fresh aid package

Dhaka has agreed to join a fresh dialogue with the World Bank, on necessary reforms to receive aid under a ‘development policy credit’ package.

The global agency, too, has expressed willingness to “do more to develop the country’s transport and energy infrastructures”.

wbThe development came during a meeting between WB managing director and chief operating officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati and finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith in Washington DC on Friday, according to a message in Dhaka on Sunday morning.

They held talks on the sidelines of the ‘Spring Meetings’ of the WB and International Monetary Fund.

“We intend to work with the World Bank to improve the country’s infrastructure and to further discuss the possibility of a Development Policy Credit so that we can provide more opportunity for our people,” said Muhith.

He mentioned that they had an in-depth and intensive discussion about the challenges Bangladesh faces and the huge potential of the country if they could be overcome.

Indrawati mentioned that limited energy and poor-quality transport infrastructure are key constraints to Bangladesh’s growth.

“We will work with the government of Bangladesh in removing these bottlenecks that slow economic growth and trap many of the country’s people in poverty,” the WB official said.

Muhith added that in addition to giving high priorities to energy and transportation in recent years, the government is also giving equal importance and attention to education, health, sanitation and housing sectors.

Currently, Bangladesh is the largest recipient under the 17th replenishment of International Development Association (IDA), the WB’s soft-lending window.

Since its joining in 1972, the country has received US$18 billion assistance in support for policy reforms and investment projects in human development, infrastructure, private sector, governance, and rural development.

-Prothom Alo