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”.
Market-led policy approaches increasingly used to deal with both climate and health emergencies are failing to protect those most vulnerable.
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