Bangladesh seeks $4.5bn IMF loan as forex reserves shrink
Bangladesh joined its South Asian neighbors Pakistan and Sri Lanka in seeking help with the increasing pressure on their economies. Bangladesh has requested a $4.5bn loan from the International Monetary Fund for balance of payments and budgetary needs, along with efforts to address climate change.
The Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal wrote to the IMF managing Director on Sunday requesting the loan. The bank of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Bank has also recently announced a policy to preserve dollars in the country by limiting imports of luxury goods, non-cereal foods, canned and processed foods, and fruits. On July 20, the bank’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $39.67bn from $45.5bn last year. The reserves are currently sufficient for imports for over five months. In the first 11 months of the fiscal year that ended in June, imports to the country increased 39% while exports only increased 34%. Officials in Bangladesh are hoping to stabilize the exchange rate in the country.