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Bangladesh Should Raise Fuel Prices to Help Economy


The International Monetary Fund says Bangladesh should bring fuel prices in line with international prices to help its economy grow.

I.M.F. Asia Pacific adviser Thomas Rumbaugh said today Thursday that subsidies aimed at helping reduce poverty are hurting the economy. The subsidies cost the state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation at least 440-million dollars each year.

The worldwide lending group is considering granting Dhaka a 100-million dollar loan to help it fight poverty.

In a report last week, the Asian Development Bank also said fuel subsidies threaten Bangladesh's economy.

Meanwhile, I.M.F. officials suggested Bangladesh privatize three state-owned banks -- Sonali Bank, Janata Bank and Agrani Bank. In addition, the group also suggested Dhaka privatize jute and textile mills that have been closed or are not profitable.

Amir Khasru has more on the story.

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