Bangladesh is preparing a proposal to introduce trade and commerce with neighbouring India with exchanging own currencies which may help ease greenback crunch as well as reduce the conversion rate losses for businesses and ordinary people.
Recently a talk in this connection has been launched by the Bangladesh Central Bank governor with his Indian counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting held in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru on February 24-25.
The issue also was brought up at Wednesday’s meeting of the National Economic Council chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, according to people with direct knowledge of the discussions.
Every year, Bangladeshi nationals spend about $2 billion on treatment, tourism and education in India, according to the government’s estimates. At the same time, India is among the top three import destinations for Bangladesh.
And official transactions between the two nations are conducted in US dollars and then converted to rupee or taka, which leaves both sides with some conversion losses.
During the Ecnec meeting, Talukder said it would also alleviate the pressure on foreign currency given the large volume of payments to India.
“The pressure on reserves has come down a lot. The import bills have come down because of the measures taken. It is now possible to meet the import bills with the export proceeds and remittance inflows. But there are other dollar outflows that need to come down.”
The governor would sit with the banks soon over the issue.