Saturday 10, December 2022

Govt relaxes conditions on officials’ foreign tours

Time Digital News: The government has relaxed restrictions on foreign tours by its officials four months after imposing them amid a foreign currency crunch.

A finance division directive issued on Monday announced the withdrawal of the restrictions on overseas tours in four areas, including for inspection of goods under government purchase.

The overseas travel restrictions on obtaining master’s and doctor of philosophy degrees by government officials under both the revenue and development budgets have also been lifted.

Government officials will now be able to take part in overseas training programmes under the memorandum of understanding between the government of Bangladesh and other countries.

They will also be able to take part in overseas training programmes by invitation and with financial support from overseas governments, institutes, and lending agencies.

According to the finance division directive, the restrictions have been relaxed to allow government officials to hone their skills.

The latest finance ministry directive came following the proposed overseas tours in the US by officials to inspect the goods to be purchased under the government deal.

It has been reported that a team, led by Sylhet City Corporation mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury, will visit the US to inspect waste management vehicles.

But the restrictions on overseas tours imposed in May by the finance division contradict the proposed tour by Sylhet City Corporation officials.

On May 12, the finance division imposed the restrictions on overseas tours by government officials by a statutory regulatory order.

All kinds of exposure visits, study tours, participation in seminars and workshops and travels under the annual performance agreement and innovation will remain suspended until further order, it said.

In May, the country’s foreign currency reserve dropped to $41.9 billion from $48.06 billion in August 2021 because of the high growth in monthly import payments because of price hikes for fuel oil, food, and fertiliser in the global market.

The country’s foreign reserves have dropped further to $37.13 billion in the past week.


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