The Bangladeshi government is being pressured by the IMF’s Asia and Pacific department officials to implement its recommendations, including raising the VAT rate, despite opposition from local civil society organisations. The IMF is to withhold the second installment of a $1 billion loan, agreed last April, if its conditions are not met, according to Asian News Network. A campaign launched by Bangladeshi NGO Equity and Justice Group, endorsed by over 30 organisations, opposes the VAT increase, calling instead for “expanding direct taxes, such as a progressive income tax” and “increasing taxation on corporate profits”.
The Bretton Woods Project has published a new briefing providing a critical analysis of the IMF's latest work on gender equality. The briefing questions the sustainability of the Fund's new approach to gender equality and reveals that the Fund's analysis so far is limited and inconsistent with the full achievement of women's economic empowerment.
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