Staff Reporter: The Bangladeshi taka today (Monday) faced a sharp depreciation against the US dollar as the soaring import payments have created an acute shortage in the banking sector.
The latest devaluation came when the Bangladesh Bank (BB) depreciated the inter-bank exchange rate by Tk 0.80 to Tk 87.5 per USD.
The exchange rate of the taka stood at $85.8 a dollar on December 30 and $84.8 on May 16 last year, according to data from the central bank.
The Bangladesh Bank has so far depreciated the taka five times in this year.
Economists have frequently urged the central bank to depreciate the local currency by Tk 5-6 per dollar immediately.
The shortage of the greenback has already created an instability in the foreign exchange regime, which is why the BB now tries to restore discipline in the market by depreciating the local currency, a BB official said.
The banking regulator has also increased the BC (bills for collection) selling rate by Tk 0.85 to Tk 87.6 a dollar and banks are supposed to follow the rate while selling dollars to the importers.
But officials of two commercial banks, on condition of anonymity, said they are yet to follow the selling rate because of the shortage of the greenback.
Banks are charging more than Tk 95 for every US dollar from the importers.
Bankers blame the rising import payments for the ongoing volatility in the foreign exchange regime.
The coronavirus pandemic had disrupted the supply chain around the world, which subsequently pushed up the commodity prices in the global market.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has deepened the crisis.