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Diplomatic - August 17, 2022

Lending decision on BD in Oct: IMF

Diplomatic Correspondent: Bangladesh has to wait until next October for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) take a final call on its request to borrow funds from the Washington-based lending agency, according to a regional official of the organization.
Rahul Anand, head of IMF’s Asia-Pacific Division, said there is now no dire situation in Bangladesh. In terms of foreign debt, the country has a different picture compared to other countries in the region, especially Sri Lanka.
Anand said this to some Bangladeshi media in a virtual briefing on Tuesday. Uma Ramakrishnan, deputy director of the policy and review department of the IMF, was connected at the time.
He also denied any connection of IMF loan conditions with the recent fuel price hike move of Bangladesh government.
He said that Bangladesh’s foreign debt is relatively small at around 14 per cent of gross domestic products (GDP). That is why the risk of the country going into default is low. Even, there is no reason to compare Bangladesh with Sri Lanka.
The official said that the IMF is ready to help Bangladesh, according to the rules and procedures regarding the funds. The IMF officials are discussing the program design with the Bangladesh authorities.
“The IMF will hold its annual meeting in mid-October. There will be a final decision on Bangladesh’s lending issue,” Rahul added.

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