July 15, 2024, 4:24 am

Diplomatic correspondent

2024-02-23 14:22:35 BdST

Govt faces pressure in repaying foreign loans, but not worried: FM

Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali has said that the government is facing some pressures in repaying the foreign loans but the situation remains manageable.

He made the comment during a press briefing at his office in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area of Dhaka following a meeting with a delegation of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“Concerns are growing over the repayment of foreign loans due to existing pressures. The government is managing the situation to contain the country's economic stability,” he said.

He reiterated the government's commitment to fostering positive economic indicators despite challenges, emphasising the need for sustained progress.

BSS adds: The finance minister was replying to a series of questions from reporters after Chief of Mission of IOM Bangladesh Abdusattar ESOEV met him at his ERD office in the capital's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar today.

He usually said it is not always possible to make good progress overnight, rather it takes a certain time.

Ali said that it is also not always possible to make significant progress in all the major macroeconomic indicators within a period of a single day, adding, "But, the important thing is that we'll have to carefully watch how the economy is moving?"

Asked whether the growing foreign loans are putting pressure on the economy, he said pressure is there to some extent, but it is not massive. "We're dying for this... the situation is not like that,"

Replying to a question on the outcome of his meeting with the relevant stakeholders, including Ministers and State Ministers of concerned Ministries, to keep the prices of essentials under control and also to keep the major macroeconomic indicators within the desired range, Ali said progress is definitely there in some cases while some are awaiting progress. "It's not possible to pull something down by force."

He told another questioner that L/Cs' are being opened ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan to keep the stock and supply of essential items normal, adding, "L/Cs are being opened. Please have some patience..."

About his participation in the 47th session of the Governing Council of IFAD held in Rome recently, the Finance Minister said that Bangladesh is the largest partner of IFAD and the development partner has so far invested $2 billion in Bangladesh.

"The high ups of IFAD are very optimistic that their partnership with Bangladesh is growing. As far now, they (IFAD) have provided support worth $2 billion to Bangladesh, and it will increase further," he added.

Ali said that the investment of IFAD mainly towards the agricultural sector of Bangladesh has been yielding good results.

Citing an example of IFAD's support to Bangladesh in various sectors, the Finance Minister said IFAD is helping in breeding Rui Minnow fish on the River Halda in Chattogram through preventing pollution in that river through involving the local community, and it is also yielding good results.

About the outcome of his meeting with the IOM Mission Chief, Ali said the IOM has shared their current operations and thoughts.

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