Dhaka is expecting an announcement of $750 million loan as budget support in the upcoming spring meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington in April 16-22.
Economic Relations Division secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam said that the World Bank had agreed to provide the credit in next three years starting from 2018-19 following commitment by the government to carry out reforms.
Andrina Ambrose, acting country director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, stated the World Bank position in a recent letter, he said.
Officials said that the positive response from the World Bank came after the government agreed the conditions tagged by the lender for legal and administrative reforms, including enactment of new customs laws, establishment of one-stop services and a pension regulatory authority, feasibility study for a law on employment injury insurance and strengthening of the labour court.
Finance minister AMA Muhith, who discussed the outline of the loan during his meeting with World Bank officials in the United States in October 2017, is expected to finalise it during this spring meeting of the lenders.
Muhith left Dhaka Sunday evening to attend the meeting.
A senior finance division official said that the World Bank budget support, first time in nine years, would be at a concessional rate and aimed at creating employment opportunities following findings by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in 2016 that the number of unemployed people was more than 26 lakh as 3 lakh youths found jobs in 2014 and 2015.
The last WB-sponsored budget support programme, Development Support Credit-4, was completed in 2008 with Bangladesh receiving nearly $1 billion in three years.
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