Confirming Bangladesh’s request for a loan from International Monetary Fund (IMF) Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that it does not mean the country's economy is in bad shape.
“But I had to make my previous statement looking into the perspective. I didn’t want to expose our demands”, he told reporters while briefing on a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase on Wednesday.
Last Wednesday, after a similar meeting, the Finance Minister had said that Bangladesh didn’t need IMF loan and would not seek any funding support from the lending agency. But within days, it was reported by the media that Bangladesh had sought $4.5 billion in loan from from IMF.
When his attention was drawn to his last week’s statement, Kamal said he had to made such a statement for strategic reason.
“If I expose my demand in advance, the burden and cost will be high on me”, he said. “This is a bargaining point. Every body has to do this”, he added.
He said the government has to keep in mind that any condition of the IMF loan will not go against the interest of the country.
He, however, said no specific figure was quoted in the loan proposal sent to the IMF. “We will see first at what conditions they want to provide the loan and how much we should take”.
Responding to another question, he said seeking IMF loan does not mean Bangladesh’s economy is in bad situation. The IMF, the World Bank know about our economic situation and they know that Bangladesh is capable to repay the loan.
About the current dollar crisis in the market, the finance minister said the government has already taken steps to tackle the situation.
“If anybody or any section is found to be involved in creating artificial crisis in the dollar market or concealing information, action will be taken against them”, he said.
Kamal said the main sources of foreign exchange is remittance and export. Both the remittance and export are increasing although import is also rising.
“Dollar rate should be fixed on the basis of demand and supply”, he said.