WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (BSS): International Monetary Fund (IMF) lauded Bangladesh's overall macro-economic performance and gave assurance of continued support in its efforts to achieve faster growth and poverty reduction.
The assurance came as Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman briefed IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato on the macro-economic performance of the government at a meeting here Wednesday.
The minister mentioned that despite last year's devastating floods and the unprecedented rise in petroleum prices Bangladesh had maintained macro-economic stability, hoped to achieve over 5.5 per cent growth rate and had kept fiscal deficit at around 4.0 per cent. Export and remittance growths have also been robust, he added.
The IMF managing director lauded overall macro-economic performance of the Bangladesh government despite unfavourable external situation. He appreciated the country's export performance particularly in textile and apparel sector despite the MFA phase-out.
Saifur said Bangladesh is on the track in respect of its PRGF programme with the IMF. He thanked the IMF managing director for release of PRGF tranche recently. He said the current pressure on external position emanated mostly from exogenous sources.
He urged the IMF to consider allowing some financing facility for low-income countries to meet the external shock due to unprecedented rise in oil prices.
De Rato observed that the central bank's tightening of the monetary policy had been appropriate. He encouraged the Bangladesh government to strengthen tax collection drive and simplify the tax system.
He said the Bangladesh government should continue the ongoing banking reforms. Appreciating the government's commitment to needed reforms, he said its reform programme has been in the right direction.
The IMF managing director felt that the government should adjust its petroleum prices responding to market prices. At the same time he agreed with the finance minister that the IMF should devise some financing facility for low income countries to face this oil price shock.
He assured that IMF's programme review and release of the next PRGF tranche would be on time and the IMF would continue to support Bangladesh in its efforts to achieve faster growth and poverty reduction.