Financial sector reforms are policy measures designed to deregulate the financial system and transform its structure with the view to achieving a liberalized market-oriented system within an appropriate regulatory framework. The pace of financial sector reform and innovation began to accelerate in the late 1970s in many industrial countries and in the early 1980s in a number of developing countries of the Pacific Basin and Latin America. Currently, major financial reforms are under way in many African countries and in Eastern Europe. The initial situation in many developing countries and in the formerly centrally planned economies of Europe was characterized by direct controls on interest rates and credit allocation, the absence of well–developed money and securities markets, and underdeveloped and highly regulated banking systems. With reform of the financial sector, this situation is giving way to a greater flexibility in interest rates, an enhanced role for market forces in credit allocation, a gradual deepening of money and securities markets, and increased autonomy for commercial banks. Alongside these developments, the framework of monetary policy is also undergoing major changes. Bank-specific credit ceilings and selective credit allocations are being replaced by market-based instruments for implementing monetary policy, and prudential supervision systems are being put into place to foster sound credit decisions.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The Sixth Five Year Plan, as outlined in Bangladesh's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, targets strategic growth and employment. The medium-term macroeconomic framework plan entails the involvement of both the private and public sectors. Human resources development strategy programs reaching out to the poor and the vulnerable population, as well as environment, climate change, and disaster risk management, have been included in the plan. Managing regional disparities for shared growth and strategy for raising farm productivity and agricultural growth have been outlined. Diversifying exports and developing a dynamic manufacturing sector are all inclusive in the proposed plan.
This Selected Issues paper reviews Bangladesh’s recent growth experience and per capita income. The paper identifies several key impediments to growth, namely: poor governance; restrictive trade and regulatory regimes; and inadequate investment in human capital and physical infrastructure. The paper makes the case that the medium-term fiscal strategy should be centered on boosting the revenue performance of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) by reorganizing it along functional lines, adopting a system of self-assessment, establishing a risk-based auditing system, and introducing a unique taxpayer identification number.
This Selected Issues paper on Bangladesh reviews institutional developments in the foreign exchange market since 2002. In 2002, there have been several aspects of the financial system and exchange market in Bangladesh that posed impediments to a floating exchange rate system. The financial system has been dominated by state-owned commercial banks with assets amounting to about 24 percent of GDP and accounting for some 46 percent of industry net assets. Market interventions have been largely confined to building foreign exchange reserves and to countering rare disorderly market conditions.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
1. The IMF’s involvement in trade policy issues has been a source of controversy. In contrast to exchange rate, fiscal, or monetary policies, trade policy lies within the IMF’s domain through at most a soft mandate. This leaves substantial scope for disagreement on whether the IMF has overstepped its proper role on trade policy or not done enough. Also, reflecting an orientation toward removing barriers to trade, the IMF’s involvement in trade policy has stoked the debate on whether steps toward freer trade are always beneficial for a country or whether developmental objectives are better served by more gradual changes. Alongside this debate are charges that IMF advice has not been evenhanded and has pushed harder on developing countries (through lending arrangements) than on advanced countries to reduce protectionism. And with the increasing complexity of trade policy issues, questions have arisen about whether IMF staff have the expertise to address trade policies rigorously.