Biman aircraft, Paira Port, EDF fund are curses for reserve shrink.


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Biman aircraft, Paira Port, EDF fund are curses for reserve shrink.

Special Correspondent

The government has used about US$ 4 billion for procuring several aircrafts for Biman, paid to contractors for Paira Port Construction, paid exporters under the scheme namely Export Development Fund and others ignoring many criticism and alert of danger.

The Bangladesh Bank gave about $315 million in loans to Biman for purchasing the aircraft from the reserve fund through the state-owned Sonali Bank in 2019.

The government has also provided €247 million or $266.38 million to the Payra Port Authority from the Bangladesh Infrastructure Development Fund (BIDF). The Bangladesh Bank would provide the amount to Sonali Bank to pay the bill of the Belgium-based Jundunul NV, the contractor of the Capital and Maintenance Dredging of the Ramnabad Channel of the Payra Port project,  BB sources informed earlier.

The BIDF was established in March 2021 to finance development projects in Bangladesh using foreign reserves.

Besides, the government earlier formed US$7 billion export development fund from the foreign currency reserve, offering loans to exporters in foreign currencies. Exporters are allowed to repay the loans up to 270 days with 4% interest from their export proceeds.

But following the greenback shortage the central bank downsized its Export Development Fund (EDF) to $2 billion.

Due to the shortage the central bank is trying to increase the reserve by buying dollars from these banks, it is rather decreasing. In the last one week, the reserves have decreased by 120 million dollars. As a result, according to the calculations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), last Wednesday, the reserves decreased to 1 thousand 940 crores or US$ 19.40 billion. However, the actual or net reserves was less than $16 billion.

Banks reduced the price of the dollar by 75 paisa in two rounds during the crisis. As a result, the price of the dollar has increased to 109 taka 75 paisa due to the purchase of expatriates and export earnings. And in case of import, the price is 110 taka 25 paisa. However, dollar trading is low at fixed prices. Banks bought expatriate income at a price of more than Tk 123 yesterday as well.

Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers Association (BAFEDA) and Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) took this decision in a meeting last Tuesday evening. The new price of the dollar will be effective from next Sunday. Earlier the official price was 25 paisa higher.

Meanwhile, to reduce the dollar-crisis, the central bank through a notification has given the banks the opportunity to collect high interest deposits from abroad. It has been said that the banks will be able to pay more than 7 to 9 percent interest by keeping dollars for a period of three months to five years. Interest rates in other countries are lower than this.



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