There is a fear of a negative impact on the balance of transactions
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that there is a fear of negative impact on Bangladesh’s balance of payments (transaction balance). This fear has arisen due to the weak growth of the global economy in the context of the Covid epidemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, the disruption of the supply chain, the increase in the cost of fuel oil, gas, food products, consumer goods, industrial raw materials and transportation in the global market, the decrease in exports and the negative growth of expatriate income.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said this in response to a question from the opposition Jatiya Party MP Mosiur Rahman in the National Parliament on Wednesday. Speaker Shireen Sharmin Chowdhury presided over the question and answer table at the beginning of the meeting of the Parliament.
Highlighting the various measures taken by the government to deal with the situation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that there will be an overall improvement in the balance of transactions soon. His government has shown remarkable success in keeping budget deficits and debt levels at sustainable and bearable levels for 14 years. Despite various internal and international economic problems including the Corona situation, it has been possible to keep the budget deficit within 5 percent of GDP. The debt-to-GDP ratio also reached 34 percent at the end of FY 2021-22, well below the internationally recognized debt status threshold.
Informing about the various measures taken by the government to deal with the situation, the Prime Minister said that the remittance of expatriate income has been made easier with increased incentives. In order to prevent the trend of increasing demand for dollar, Bangladesh Bank adjusted the value of rupee against dollar several times. Compared to the dollar price of the last financial year in August, the price has been increased by 11.97 percent to 95 rupees in the month of August of the current financial year. Bangladesh Bank has sold 7.62 billion dollars from foreign exchange reserves to various scheduled banks in the last financial year 2021-22.
The topic is fuel oil and electricity
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in response to the question of Shahidul Islam, a member of parliament of the government party, that a six-month agreement is made for the procurement of fuel oil from abroad. The current contract is valid till next December.
It will be possible to meet the demand of 30 to 35 days with stored fuel oil and two ships will arrive in the country with fuel oil during this period. He said that until August 16, the fuel oil stock in the country is 620 thousand 148 metric tons refined and 81 thousand 846 metric tons unrefined.
The Prime Minister said that in order to continue the supply of fuel, considering the demand, about 3 lakh 25 thousand metric tons of diesel, 50 thousand metric tons of jet fuel and 50 thousand metric tons of octane in the month of August and about 3 lakh metric tons of diesel, 20 thousand metric tons of jet fuel, 50 thousand in September. The import schedule of metric tons of furnace oil and 25 thousand metric tons of octane has been finalized.
In response to the question of Jatiya Party Member of Parliament Syed Abu Hossain, the Prime Minister said that due to the ongoing global energy crisis, Bangladesh is trying to overcome the crisis caused by economical use of electricity and planned load shedding. In spite of having the power generation capacity to continue the power generation, with the aim of saving energy, the planned loadshedding of power from 1000 MW to 2000 MW is being done in various areas.
Retirement allowance increased
In response to a question from Jatiya Party Member of Parliament Fakhrul Imam, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that since 2015, since the salary of MPO teachers and employees has almost doubled, the amount of retirement allowance has also increased several times. During the current government, 1 lakh 14 thousand retired teachers and employees have been given retirement benefits of Tk 6 thousand 61 crores. At present, the applications of 32,000 teachers and employees are awaiting settlement. Three thousand crore rupees are required to settle it. These applications are being settled in phases.
In response to a question from Habibur Rahman, Member of Parliament for Bogra-5 Constituency, the Prime Minister said that a total of 6,836 peacekeepers are currently engaged in 8 peacekeeping missions in the United Nations, of which 521 are women. A total of 161 people have been killed and 258 injured so far while engaged in the mission.