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Finance Minister dismisses reports on Bangladesh request for IMF loan

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has dismissed a media report that Bangladesh is seeking a loan of $4.5 billion in aid for economic recovery.

“Neither we placed any proposal to IMF for loan, nor IMF made any offer to us,” he told reporters while briefing on the outcomes of the two consecutive meetings of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) virtually held on Wednesday.

He made remarks while a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been visiting the country and holding meetings with Bangladesh Bank officials.

“Actually, a consultative committee of the IMF is now visiting the country which has no issue to discuss any loans proposal,” he added, saying, “We don’t need any loan from the IMF right at this moment. We made no request for any funding, not any proposal came from IMF.”

He, however, said if any loan is taken from the IMF, Bangladesh will never accept any condition that will go against the interest of the country.

Responding to a question, Kamal said he has no idea about any such list of the countries, prepared by the IMF where Bangladesh was shown as economically vulnerable.

“Bangladesh never failed to service its foreign debts, including that of IMF. The international multiple financing agency had not to waive off debts of Bangladesh,” he said.

He also dismissed the media report that IMF has a different calculation about Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves. Bangladesh calculates its foreign exchange reserves at at $42 billion while IMF sees it much lower.

“We have been calculating our foreign exchange reserves like other countries do,” he said.

The finance minister also disagreed with rate of inflation at 7.5 per cent, released by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

“I don’t admit such figure. Inflation is never calculated on weekly or daily basis… no country calculates in such a way,” he said.