IMF team due to arrive in Dhaka today
25 February 2015, Nirapad News: The government and International Monetary Fund (IMF) will discuss issues relating to the finalization of a deadline for implementation of VAT Act and release of the rest of ECF (Extended Credit Facility) loans, officials said.
They said an IMF mission led by Rodrigo Cubero, Deputy Division Chief, Asia and the Pacific Department, IMF, will arrive in Dhaka today (Wednesday).
During their stay in Dhaka from February 25 to March 10, the IMF delegation will meet with the officials concerned. The ECF fifth and sixth review mission will also discuss a number of important issues relating to Bangladesh’s economy.
The mission would give priority to discuss implementation of new VAT (value added tax) Act during the meeting with the government. The act was supposed to be effective from July this year, but the government is now thinking to implement it by July 2016. Besides, issue regarding release of the rest installments of the ECF program will come up at a meeting for discussion, a competent source said.
The government in November 2012 amended VAT Act-1991 on the IMF prescription for approving U$ 1.0 billion ECF fund. A finance ministry official said release of the two tranches of ECF fund worth US$ 280 million has become uncertain as the government has failed to implement a road map for VAT Act and meet some other conditions.
The sixth installment of the ECF fund was scheduled to be released in November last while the final one is scheduled for February. An IMF team had completed the fifth review of ECF arrangement in September last, but IMF did not release the sixth installment even more than two and half months after due time.
The ministry of finance (MoF) may issue an order on implementation of VAT Act after detailed discussions with the IMF mission, ministry sources said.
The multilateral donor agency recently sent a set of queries to the government for preparation of agendas for the mission. The high-powered IMF mission will review the country’s macro-economic situation and different economic issues during their visit.