October 10, 2023
DHAKA – The visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission yesterday inquired about the government’s plans to reduce energy and fertiliser subsidies, which have been increasing in recent years.
The IMF mission, led by its chief Rahul Anand, raised the issue during various meetings held with different departments of the finance ministry.
A finance ministry official said they informed the IMF mission that the government does not have any plan to reduce subsidies on fertiliser at present, but added that there were plans to gradually reduce subsidies in the energy sector.
During yesterday’s meetings, the IMF mission also wanted to know how the issue of arrears of Tk 50,000 crore for subsidies in the power, energy and fertiliser sectors in the last fiscal year would be addressed.
The government has projected around Tk 110,000 crore as subsidies for the current fiscal year.
The visiting IMF mission yesterday also held a meeting with the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics officials, including its Director General Matiar Rahman.
At the meeting, the IMF mission wanted to know when the BBS would publish its quarterly GDP report.
BBS officials said they recently published the quarterly GDP report for different years, beginning from fiscal 2014-2015 to 2021-2022.
They informed that the GDP report for the first quarter of 2023-2024 would be published by January next year.
The IMF mission also proposed to provide technical support to BBS, if necessary, to publish the quarterly GDP report.
The visiting IMF mission also held a meeting with Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, chairman of the National Board of Revenue, at the latter’s office yesterday.