Dhaka tipped to qualify this time

Posted: জানুয়ারি 22, 2009 in Millennium Challenge Account(MCA)

Muhith, US envoy see bright prospect for MCA fund

Bangladesh may qualify by this year for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) fund if it makes a little improvement in the fields of functional democracy, governance and economic policies and cutting corruption.

“Bangladesh will achieve quick improvement in the fields of curbing corruption, good governance and democracy and we will get the [MCA] fund,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith told reporters at his office after a meeting with US Ambassador to Bangladesh James F Moriarty.

In reply to a question, he said Bangladesh may qualify for the fund this year.

Talking to reporters, Moriarty also said, “The minister’s hope and my hope is that Bangladesh will qualify for the fund.”

Moriarty met the finance minister yesterday for the first time after the Awami League-led grand alliance formed the government. They discussed the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) at the meeting.

The administration of immediate past US president George W Bush announced the MCA in 2002 and it was inaugurated in 2005. Developing countries are selected as recipients of the fund on a set of 16 indicators, which are aimed at measuring good governance, investing in people and promoting entrepreneurship.

Bangladesh had made several attempts to get included in the MCA fund.

To qualify for receiving money from the fund, a country has to achieve at least 50 percent success in each of the criteria. “While Bangladesh has achieved 50 percent success in some vital fields, it is yet to reach the target in a few areas like governance, curbing corruption and democracy,” said Muhith, adding that the country would reach the target soon.

“The amount of money to be available from the fund depends on what type of projects we present for the fund,” he said.

The US ambassador said, “Eligibility for getting MCA fund is assessed every year and it will be assessed at the end of this year. The US and Bangladesh will be working together now for improving the conditions which will enable Bangladesh to be included in the fund.”

On TIFA, Moriarty said Washington has already taken up the issue for discussion and expressed hope to go forward with it.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Local Consultative Group, an organisation of development partners working in Bangladesh, met with Finance Minister Muhith at his Secretariat office yesterday.

After the meeting World Bank Country Director Xian Zhu, who led the delegation, said, “The new government has some priority sectors. We discussed how we could assist the government in keeping consistency with the priorities, which are agriculture, energy, power and climate change.”

 

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