Special Correspondent: Government stakeholders at a seminar have claimed that it is possible to accelerate the country’s development by increasing the amount of foreign loans as debt repayment pressure is at a bearable level.
In a seminar organised by the Economic Relations Department (ERD) yesterday, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said foreign loans have to be repaid in a long period with low interest.
“Interest on foreign loans is 0.75%-1.5%. The repayment period of this loan is also very long,” he said justifying increased debt load from abroad.
However, Planning Minister MA Mannan, chief guest at the event, advised caution on excessive borrowing, claiming that foreign debt is playing a vital role in development.
Highlighting the need for increased foreign loans until the country is developed, the state minister said that Bangladesh’s current foreign debt is around 13% of GDP and there is scope to double it.
ERD Foreign Aid Budget and Accounts (FABA) Wing Chief and Additional Secretary Md Mostafizur Rahman presented an article and said that although the IMF has given the opportunity to borrow up to 40% of GDP, the debt rate of Bangladesh is less than 13%.
ERD Secretary Sharifa Khan, Planning Secretary Mamun Al Rashid, IMED Secretary Abu Hena Morshed Zaman and other members and officials of the Planning Commission were present in the seminar on “Foreign debt management to ensure good governance” under the Knowledge-for-Development project funded by the United Nations Development Organization (UNDP).
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