The World Bank will give Bangladesh $500 million as budget support for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, the finance minister has said.
After a meeting with World Bank’s Vice President for South Asia Annette Dixon at the Secretariat on Tuesday, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said the support would be offered in addition to other loans and aid.
He said the lending agency had released $3 billion of its committed loans and aid in the 2013-14 and hoped the trend would continue this FY too.
“Besides these loans and aid, the World Bank has agreed to offer us $500 million as budget support. We had discussions with the World Bank vice president over the matter.”
Asked if there was any discussion with Dixon on Bangladesh’s current political situation, the minister answered in the negative. “No, there was no discussion over these matters. Even she didn’t ask anything about these.”
He said country’s poverty situation was discussed.
“I told her that we’ll be free from poverty by 2018. She agreed with me,” he added.
Muhith said Bangladesh’s poverty rate at present was between 11 to 14 percent. “The Bureau of Statistics is conducting household survey. The real data will be available by the end of this month.”
As per international standard, a country is called poverty free if its rate of poverty is 12 percent or less.
The minister said the World Bank official had advised Bangladesh to augment revenue collection.
Dixon is in Bangladesh on a five-day visit. She will leave Dhaka on Wednesday.
Source: Bd news24