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Bangladesh in the safe trajectory; Kamal

Ruling out the possibility of having any Sri Lanka like situation in Bangladesh, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today said the country is now in a safe trajectory as there is no problem in all the major macroeconomic indicators.

“Anyone can discuss the current situation in Sri Lanka. But that is not applicable for us. Our foreign currency reserve is now higher, inward remittance and export earnings are increasing while inflation is also under control. The currency hasn’t yet been devaluated, then where the problem lies for us? …there is no problem,” he said.

Kamal also said, “I think we are in the safe trajectory.”

The Finance Minister was replying to a volley of questions after chairing two separate meetings on the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP).

Noting that the current situation of Bangladesh is now much strong, he said those countries in the world are now in an awkward position which have high debt to GDP ratio.

“But, our debt to GDP ratio is now 34 percent and this is reasonable…by the grace of Almighty Allah, our position is now much stronger and it will be more strengthened,” he said.

The Finance Minister also hoped that the coming days would be much better since Bangladesh is on the “right track”.

Asked about the deadline for opening up of the Padma Bridge to traffic, he said they are expecting that it would be possible to open the bridge to traffic at the year end.

But, he said there is also “Act of God” as some things were expected to come in March, but those did not come. Hopefully, it would not take a long time for opening, he added.

Kamal said that the whole world is now going through an abnormal situation due to the Russia-Ukraine war for which none could make projections effectively while there is also no such position for making firm commitments.

Answering to a question, he informed that the government would definitely realize toll for the Padma Bridge, but the rate is yet to be finalized.

Kamal informed that the government would not only realize fully the total expenditure outlay for constructing the Padma Bridge, but also it will make profit through realizing tolls as it is also the practice elsewhere in the world.

He said tolls should have to be realized in order to ensure proper maintenance of the infrastructures alongside generating more revenues.

“Everyone will be in a win-win situation -- those who will use the bridge and also the government”, he said.

The Finance Minister told another questioner that it was yet to be calculated for how long it would take to realize fully the expenditure outlay of the bridge. “But, the government wants to make profit from the bridge after realizing fully the expenditure outlay”, he added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)