discourage import, cheer remittance inflow, PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today told the Parliament that the government has taken some measures to discourage unnecessary import side by side with encouraging remittance inflow which is expecting to lead the country’s reserve to a comfortable position in future. 

The Premier said this in the House during her question-answer session while responding to a tabled question from ruling party Awami League lawmaker Shahiduzzaman Sarker elected from Naogaon.

She said that the foreign exchange reserve was US$ 32.94 billion in fiscal year 2017-18.

The Leader of the House said that imports have increased in the fiscal year 2021-2022 due to inflationary pressures and growth of post-Covid demand, which has created some pressure on Bangladesh’s trade balance.

“Although foreign exchange reserves reached an all-time high of US$ 48.06 billion in August 2022, it subsequently began to decline to cope with this pressure,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina said that the declining rate of reserves increased when the central bank started using foreign exchange reserves to maintain the value of the Taka against the US dollar aiming to control inflation.

Referring to the latest statistics of May 31 when the amount of reserves was US$ 29.87 billion, she said that the amount is enough to meet the import expenses of more than four months.

In reply to another query of ruling party lawmaker Noor Uddin Chowdhury elected from Laxmipur, the Prime Minister said that the success of her government in implementing the promises of the communication sector is now universally recognized and appreciated.

In her speech, she highlighted various projects and future plans in the communication sector.

Sheikh Hasina said that the Bridges Division has taken various future plans for the development of the communication system of the country including the construction of 40 kilometer long Dhaka East-West Elevated Expressway, construction of 258km subway in Dhaka city, construction of 86km long Dhaka Inner Elevated Circular Road in Dhaka city and construction of about 2.25km long bridge over Meghna river on Bhulta-Araihajar-Bancharampur-Nabinagar road in Dhaka and Brahmanbaria districts.

The future plans also include: construction of 10.49km long bridge over Tentulia and Kalabadar rivers on Barishal-Bhola road; construction of 1.59km long bridge over Ariyal Kha River on Rahmatpur-Babuganj-Muladi Hijla-Mehendiganj road in Barisal district.

Answering to a question from another ruling party lawmaker Mahfuzur Rahman elected from Chattogram, the Prime Minister said that about 55,000 hectares of fallow land have already been brought under cultivation.

Highlighting the various steps taken by the government in the agriculture sector, she said production of rice, maize, potatoes, vegetables and fruits and other crops is continuously increasing as a result of the adoption and implementation of the government’s agriculture-friendly policies.

Bangladesh held third position in rice production in the world. Besides, 22 agricultural products are among the top 10 countries in the world.

She said that the government is trying to boost agricultural production further to deal with the current crisis.

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