The World Bank (WB) is likely to disburse the third tranche of Development Support Credit (DSC) amounting to US$ 200 million to Bangladesh in December next, report agencies.
But it is pressurising the government to formulate a public procurement act, a major pre-condition for getting funding supports under this to credit programme.
Visiting WB Vice President Praful C Patel called on Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman at his Planning Ministry office Tuesday morning and advised him to formulate the public procurement act as early as possible to ensure transparency in public procurement procedures.
Bangladesh was expecting the disbursement of funds under the third chunk of DSC before the end of the last fiscal, but the WB in the middle of the year tied the release of funds under the programme with various terms and conditions, and, leading to raising of the fuel price and further reduction of duties on a number of import items.
After the meeting, Saifur told reporters that the government is actively considering some urgent steps to formulate the public procurement law.
"We have to make a sound procurement law. We have taken necessary initiatives in this connection," he said adding, "The existing public procurement regulation will be converted into an Act through the required parliamentary procedures."
Replying to a query, he said not only the WB's third chunk of DSC but also the release of another US$ 75 million IMF credit depends on enactment of the public procurement act.
The minister recognised that pressure on money supply and liquidity was mounting day by day and most of the state-run banks, having surplus liquidity, were facing the pressure as the WB did not disburse the DSC in time.
Asked about the WB's latest deadline for disbursing the fund under the loan, the finance minister expressed his optimism that the country would get the money this time.
Talking to the journalists, WB Vice President Praful C Patel said that Bangladesh must enact the public procurement act to get all the WB financial assistance in future.
Patel praised Bangladesh's economic progress, development and assured the government of the bank's continued support to help maintain the country's march forward.
He made the appreciation during his meeting with Prime Minister Khaleda Zia when he paid a courtesy call on her.
During the meeting, Patel lauded Bangladesh's progress and successes in maintaining high economic growth rate, poverty reduction, good governance, law and order, macro-economic stability and gender equality.