‘Bangladesh on way to be middle-income nation’

Speaking to reporters at Bangladesh Bank conference room on Wednesday afternoon after his two-day visit to Dhaka, Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara said Bangladesh attained remarkable progress in socio-economic development in last two decades.
The high official of the Manila-based lending agency hailed Bangladesh for involving people from all walks of life in its economic activities.
He, however, sought government initiatives to boost collection of taxes and cut subsidy on energy sector for bolstering development activities.
IMF’s Bangladesh Mission Chief Rodrigo Cubero and Resident Representative Stella Kaendera were also present at the press meet.
Shinohara met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, members of different parliamentary standing committees and officials of the finance ministry and central bank during his visit.
He said he was impressed by the authorities’ determination to transform Bangladesh into a middle-income country offering sustainable and equitable opportunities for all.
Shinohara remarked that Bangladesh had a vibrant economy and strong potential to achieve higher and sustained inclusive growth.
According to him, the country now had a stronger external and domestic position, with ‘good’ international reserves and low inflation trend.
The IMF official said Bangladesh attained remarkable progress in structural reforms.
He hailed amendments to the Banking Companies Act last year, moves to enforce new VAT law next year, progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, particularly on increasing access to primary education and eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary schools.
Shinohara believes the country needs to step up tax collections to create more space for priority social and development spending.
He said political stability was the key to maintaining Bangladesh’s progress and the politicians needed to reach a consensus for that.
He, however, said IMF would not take any initiative to this end.

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