Vol. 5 Num 630 Tue. March 07, 2006  
Front Page

5 conditions for WB's DSC tranche

The government may have to fulfil five conditions to get the fourth tranche of the World Bank's (WB) Development Support Credit (DSC).

Sources said the government had to fulfil 13 conditions to secure the third tranche of the DSC, but with the next general elections only around 10 months away, the WB may lessen the number of conditions.

A WB team led by Sadiq Ahmed starts discussion with the government today on the fourth instalment of the DSC, a finance ministry source said.

The WB will then submit a detailed report to the government, outlining the conditions Bangladesh will have to meet to get the DSC-4.

The DSC- 4 will be equivalent to $100-150 million, and the WB may release the fund towards July-August if the government fulfils the conditions.

The government will try hard to get the fund to keep its bank borrowing within limit before it leaves office in October, sources pointed out.

There will possibly be five conditions for the power sector, nationalised commercial banks (NCBs) and National Board of Revenue (NBR).

In the power sector, the government will have to formulate and adopt a least costly development plan for investments and ensure that all proposed investments are consistent with this plan. The government will also have to formulate a plan defining its financing strategy for investments in the sector.

It will have to develop specific Terms of Reference for the managing directors of the NCBs and specify a fixed tenure for them, keeping in view prospective corporatisation of the banks.

Besides, privatisation process of Rupali Bank will have to be completed within the time limit agreed to earlier.

Again, a new NBR board and senior management structure will have to be created in line with its strategic development plan.

As part of trade liberalisation, supplementary duties will have to be reduced by at least 2 percentage points.

Finally, the government will have to implement the agreed macroeconomic framework under the Poverty Reduction Growth Facilities.

Getting the public procurement law approved by the cabinet was a condition for the release of the DSC-3. The law has already been placed in parliament after the cabinet okayed it. But some amendments have been made to the draft bill, specially the provision of constituting an independent review panel has been greatly altered.

A planning ministry source said the WB may express dissatisfaction over the amendments.