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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh Bank: No possibility of inflation from govt borrowings

Currently, the inflation in the country is not because of the supply side, says Bangladesh Bank governor

Update : 02 Jun 2023, 10:20 PM

Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder on Friday ruled out any possibility of creating inflation in the country from the target of government borrowings including from bank borrowings set in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year (FY24).

"Currently, the inflation in the country is not because of the supply side, rather it is absolutely imported inflation," he said.

The central bank governor said this while replying to a question during the post-budget press conference held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka on Friday.

Out of the total budgetary outlay of Tk7,61,785 crore for FY24, the budget deficit has been estimated at Tk2,61,785 crore of which Tk1,32,395 crore will come from the banking sector.

Rouf also told a questioner that the central bank would not try to contain inflation through printing cash notes and there is no such possibility.

He informed that the central bank would deliver the monetary policy statement on June 18 where there would be details about the measures for containing inflation.

The governor said that there would be supply-side intervention in the budget so that inflation remains under control. 

He said although a huge amount has been spent on payments of interest and subsidies, it would not put any impact in controlling inflation. "Besides, there will be no such austerity in utilizing the ADP."

He said that the country would be able to meet the import bills of five months with the current level of foreign currency reserves.

"Our main task is now to make the financial account positive and hopefully it will be in a stable state within a few months. Then the foreign currency reserve will increase gradually," he added.

When asked about the measures in the budget for improving the financial sector, Rouf said that the draft of the amended Bank Companies Act has already got approval of the cabinet and will be placed in Jatiya Sangsad while the draft of the Secured Transactions Act will also go into Jatiya Sangsad. Besides, the draft of the Insolvency Ac is at the final stage.

The central bank governor said efforts are on to bring down the NPL trend at the private banks at 5 percent while that of the public banks is within 10%.

"We've already identified some problematic banks and thus took corrective measures. Whatever erosion has taken place will be addressed in phases,"

Asked about the measures for improving the stock market, the governor said that some three to four major policy issues were solved over the last year while the central bank has extended necessary policy support in this regard.

But, now it is high time to develop the bond market whether the central bank has been extending necessary support to the BSEC in this regard, he added.

Responding to another question about the possibility of attaining the government's target of 75% cashless society by 2027, Rouf said that some pilot schemes are being implemented in this regard while interoperable platform has also been developed alongside the unique QR code and national debit card.

The governor said that the digital bank initiative in the country would be entirely virtual and it would help to establish a digital society as almost six crore people of the country now use smartphones.

"Once digital bank is established, it will increase the pace of transactions and thus it will be possible to attain the target by 2027," he added.

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