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Tariff overhaul, cash aid cut planned to facilitate LDC graduation

FE REPORT | June 02, 2023 00:00:00

The government intends to overhaul tariff structures and progressively diminish cash assistance, with the objective of facilitating Bangladesh's graduation from the least developed country (LDC) club in 2026.

Besides, it aims to explore alternative measures to cash assistance, with a focus on fostering the expansion of the nation's export sector.

In his budget speech for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, "In the post-LDC graduation era after 2026, measures such as the rationalisation of tariff structures and gradual phasing out of cash assistance in export accounts have to be undertaken in compliance with the prescribed criteria of the World Trade Organization rules."

"We need to keep in mind the realities of post-graduation and take necessary preparations. For the sake of sustainable graduation, we are considering reforms in tariff structures and gradual reduction of cash assistance," he added.

The finance minister said, "At the same time, we are trying to explore alternatives to cash assistance to ensure that the growth of the export sector is not hampered."

To facilitate smooth graduation and address potential challenges arising from LDC graduation, a committee has been formed with the principal secretary of the Prime Minister as the chair.

The finance minister said that seven sub-committees have been established to oversee issues relevant to the committee.

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