The government may introduce a new fiscal measure relating to imports to maintain the country's microeconomic stability as well as to ease pressure on the foreign currency reserve.
Visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation chief Thomas Rambough Thursday recommended introduction of the new fiscal measure during a meeting with Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman.
"The IMF has suggested enforcing the new fiscal measure to help maintain microeconomic stability," Saifur told reporters after coming out of the meeting at the finance ministry.
The multilateral donor agency has also suggested discontinuation of the tax holiday facility and slashing the number of sectors currently enjoying tax exemption in a bid to increase revenue, he added.
Sources said the IMF suggested enforcing a new fiscal measure so that the government can mobilise sufficient money from local sources to make up for the gasoline import subsidy.
The IMF made the suggestion as alternative measures as its repeated recommendations on price-hike of gasoline in the local market was turned down by the government.
The proposal for new fiscal measure might serve another purpose by discouraging unnecessary import to ease the pressure on foreign reserve as well as the foreign exchange market, they added.
The government is committed not to intervene in the foreign exchange market and re-impose margin on Letters of Credit (LCs) under the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF).
The IMF lauded the country's current microeconomic stability, the projected growth rate of 6.5 per cent for the current fiscal and declining inflationary pressure, Saifur claimed.
But the IMF has been cautiously monitoring the country's oil import bill that almost doubled in a couple of years and also inadequate availability of local funds as it considers that these are potential threats to the microeconomic stability.
The visiting mission -- now in the capital to assess the country's economic performance -- will hold a series of meetings with central bank and NBR officials until March 8. It is likely to submit its recommendations to the concerned authorities of the government, before leaving the capital.
The multilateral donor agency is currently providing credit support under the PRGF -- worth US$ 490 million. So far, it has released four installments of funds under this programme.
The next PRGF installment is scheduled for disbursement at the end of the current calendar year.
Besides, the IMF is helping Bangladesh with another credit programme styled Trade Integration Mechanism (TIM).
Together, the amount of PRGF and TIM is $510 million.