Sat, 15 June 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Bangladesh took loan from IMF as a ‘breathing space’: PM tells IMF MD

Update : 30 Apr 2023, 10:57

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said that Bangladesh has taken a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a "breathing space".

The Prime Minister said this while an IMF delegation led by its Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva paid a courtesy call on her at the meeting room of The Ritz-Carlton hotel here.

The IMF in January this year approved a loan of USD 4.7 billion for Bangladesh.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen briefed reporters after the meeting.

He said that the IMF MD highly praised the unprecedented advancement of Bangladesh in various sectors under the dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina which made the Bangladesh economy stable after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IMF chief also said leadership like the Bangladesh PM is necessary to take countries towards prosperity, confronting all hurdles, Momen told reporters.

She said that Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress due to massive infrastructure development, ensuring connectivity, and maintaining law and order.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister briefed the IMF chief of her government’s initiatives to ensure the overall development of her country.

"The development of the country didn’t happen in a day, rather it’s the result of longtime planning and work," the PM was quoted as saying.

She said that she prepared the plan on how she wanted to develop Bangladesh while she was in jail after a military-backed caretaker government assumed power in the political changeover of 2007, and started working with the plan after assuming power for the second time in 2009.

Sheikh Hasina also mentioned various steps of the government to fight the adverse impacts of climate change and to ensure women’s empowerment. 

Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder said the IMF has always stood by Bangladesh over the last 14 years to maintain stability in the macro economy.

He said that Bangladesh is currently engaged in a programme of USD 4.7 billion with IMF which the country got after only two weeks’ negotiation despite the fact that many countries cannot avail loan after negotiation for years.

"The IMF will continue such cooperation in the future," Rouf said, quoting the IMF chief.

He said that the Prime Minister hailed the role of IMF in the journey of Bangladesh's development and wished for continued support in future.

Senior Secretary of Finance Division Fatima Yasmin and Economic Relations Division Secretary Sharifa Khan were present during the briefing.

According to a statement of IMF in January, Bangladesh will get this $4.7 billion loan in seven installments over the next 42 months. The average interest on the loan will be 2.2 percent.

Of the total amount, $3.3 billion will be available from the IMF’s ‘Enhanced Credit Support’ while $1.4 billion will come under the ‘Resilience and Sensibility Facility’.

The IMF had said that the loan will help stabilise Bangladesh's macroeconomy, implement necessary reforms to build capacity for social and development spending, strengthen the financial sector, modernise policy frameworks and address climate change.

The lending agency said that Bangladesh’s robust economic recovery from the pandemic has been interrupted by Russia’s war in Ukraine, leading to a sharp widening of Bangladesh’s current account deficit, depreciation of the taka and a decline in foreign exchange reserves.

It further said that the authorities have taken on a comprehensive set of measures to deal with these latest economic disruptions.

The authorities recognise that in addition to tackling these immediate challenges, long-standing structural issues and vulnerabilities related to climate change will also need to be addressed to accelerate growth, attract private investment, enhance productivity, and build climate resilience, the IMF statement clarified.

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