IMF loan out of precaution
Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus has said the country's current foreign exchange reserve can meet all types of import expenditures for more than five months.
"We have import expenditure for more than five months in our reserve whereas it is said that having more than three months' import expenditure is the symbol of a strong economy. There is no risk to us," he said.
Kaikaus was briefing reporters at his office yesterday on some "misleading news" in newspapers and other media.
The principal secretary mentioned that as per the predictions from various organisations like IMF, Word Bank, ADB and others, the world is likely to see an economic turmoil in the coming days.
"We have given a proposal to the IMF on getting possible fundas part of taking precautionary measures."
He said he has strong objection to use of the word "bail-out" usedin some media reports.
"Why bail-out? Is the country in so deep a crisis that we have to take the bail-out?" he asked.
Kaikaus mentioned that using the terms like "bail-out" is damaging the country's dignity as it is not in such a situation.
He requested the media to check with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission in Dhaka to see whether Bangladesh has fallen into a deep economic crisis like Pakistan or Sri Lanka.
"This was a regular discussion between the finance ministry and the IMF," he said about the government's recent move to get funds from the IMF.
The principal secretary citedvarious types of fund assistance from the IMF to different governments of Bangladesh in 1993, 2003, 2012 and 2020.
"We are taking funds from the IMF, Asian Development Bank and World Bank on a regular basis," he said.
But he mentioned that Bangladesh is getting budgetary financing now, not project financing, from them as they have trust in the country that it could utilise the fund more efficiently.
"This time we sought budget assistance; this is for meeting the deficit in balance of payment, not bail-out. It is basically the money that we need as foreign currency to spend for our development activities."
Talking about the power situation, the top bureaucrat said the government, like others, is also concerned about the power so that it does not become a crisis in future.
"That's why we are saving our power now for the coming days."
Regarding the misleading news on Indian Adani Group and Meghnaghat power plant, he said it is just baseless.
"Why are you making horror stories? Tell the truth," he told the media.
The principal secretary mentioned that these types of news would be harmful for the country and its possible investments from abroad.
He said the recent move by the government to save power through area-based load shedding has been effective and there is no need to increase it.
"We are saving 2,000-3,000MW electricity..."
Responding to a question regarding import of fuel from Russia, he askedif other countries can import, why couldn't Bangladesh.
He also mentioned that the government is exploring new sources for cheap fuel import.