Monday 5, June 2023

No need for IMF loan now: Mustafa Kamal

News Desk: Bangladesh does not need any loan from International Monetary Fund (IMF) right at this moment, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said.

“We made no request for any funding, not any proposal came from IMF,” he said.

He, however, said if any loan is taken from the IMF, Bangladesh will never accept any condition that will go against the interest of the country.

The minister made the remarks while a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been visiting the country and holding meetings with Bangladesh Bank officials on Wednesday.

He, however, dismissed a media report that Bangladesh is seeking a loan of $4.5 billion in aid for economic recovery.

“Neither we placed any proposal to IMF for loan, nor IMF made any offer to us,” he told reporters while briefing virtually on the outcomes of the two qensequtive meetings of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP).

“Actually, a consultative committee of the IMF is now visiting the country which has no issue to discuss any loans proposal”, he added.

Responding to a question, Kamal said he has no idea about any such list of the countries, prepared by the IMF where Bangladesh was shown as economically vulnerable.

“Bangladesh never failed to service its foreign debts, including that of IMF. The international multiple financing agency had not to waive off debts of Bangladesh”, he said.

He also dismissed the media report that IMF has a different calculation about Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves. Bangladesh calculates its foreign exchange reserves at $42 billion while IMF sees it much lower.

“We have been calculating our foreign exchange reserves like other countries do,” he said.

The finance minister also disagreed with rate of inflation at 7.5 per cent, released by the Bangladesh Bureaue of Statistics (BBS).

“I don’t admit such figure. Inflation is never calculated on weekly or daily basis no country calculates in such a way”, he said.

Kamal brushed aside concerns over dwindling foreign currency reserves and rising inflation, saying the situation is better than how it was when the Awami League came to power over a decade ago.

He said people do not need to worry about 7.56 percent inflation in June, the highest in nine years, because the 12-month average inflation is 5.9 percent. “Inflation was 12.3 percent when the Awami League took charge.”

Kamal deflated concerns over the country’s shrinking foreign currency reserves due to high import costs amid global volatility triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Our reserves were $7 billion when we [Awami League took charge]. Now we have $40 billion even in this situation after reaching $48 billion.”


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