The government is not worried if the second instalment of the IMF loan does not arrive before the elections, which is the priority now, as the country has $21 billion in reserves, and the imports have come down to $5 billion, Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to the prime minister, said on Sunday (1 October).
"We have resolved all conditions for the second IMF loan instalment. There will be no issues in receiving that. [The government is not worried] if the second instalment doesn't come before the election. I think the election is very important now. Can't lose focus on that," he said.
"As the country has $21 billion in reserves, and imports have come down to $5 billion, it will be comfortable for the next 4 months leading up to the elections," Salman said after a meeting with a delegation of the European Union led by EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) office in Agargaon, Dhaka yesterday.
The government will bring necessary reforms in the financial sector to reduce the pressure of inflation and overcome the forex crisis. Holding a credible election is the government's primary objective at the moment, he added.
Salman further said that the EU delegation offered technical assistance to increase the production of renewable energy in Bangladesh.
The delegation also offered assistance in setting up a regional renewable energy power transmission line between Bangladesh and other countries in the region, such as Bhutan, Nepal, and India.
"We have expressed interest in the EU's proposal. I informed them that Bangladesh has already reached a bilateral agreement with India on solar energy," Salman said.
Earlier this afternoon, Salman held a meeting with the World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Abdoulaye Seck at the Bida office.
Meanwhile, during the meeting, the WB country director offered Bangladesh loans from the institution at 5% interest.
He also expressed optimism that Bangladesh will overcome its forex reserves issues caused by global economic volatility.
He lauded the economic development of the country over the years alongside giving assurance for mobilising more support towards the development of Bangladesh, said a press release.
Seck also praised highly about the continued economic progress of the country despite the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic and the onslaught of the Russia-Ukraine War.