Bangladesh’s Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal stated that the country’s fiscal year 2023–24 budget was not based on the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He explained that while Bangladesh considered the IMF’s recommendations, they only followed some of them when preparing the budget. Kamal emphasized that the IMF’s role extends beyond providing financial assistance, as they also monitor the economy, which he deemed beneficial.
The finance minister mentioned the government’s flexible approach to containing inflation, which includes social safety-net programs aimed at providing food to the poor. He also stated that they are actively identifying the causes of inflation and would make concessions if necessary.
Kamal highlighted that the new budget primarily aimed to benefit the impoverished population. The government expanded the tax net to collect more revenue and emphasized the budget’s alignment with the upcoming election and the welfare of the people. He assured that previous budget projections had been implemented successfully.
Regarding remittances, Kamal noted that Bangladesh ranked favorably among countries in the region. Despite a recent decline, remittance earnings were increasing again, and the country’s reserves could cover five months of import bills.
The finance minister expressed confidence that the inflow of remittances would gradually rise following government measures.
During the press conference, Bangladesh Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder addressed several questions on inflation, remittances, and the banking sector, at the request of the Finance Minister.
Kamal also clarified that although the government’s loan from the banking system was increasing, it would not lead to inflation as the central bank was withdrawing money from the market through the sale of dollars.