The government plans to borrow from foreign exchange reserve for financing various development projects.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith came up with the disclosure while addressing a remittance award ceremony in the capital on Tuesday.
“As the size of the foreign exchange reserve is still huge, we should utilise it properly by taking loans for smooth implementation of different projects,” said Muhith.
The central bank organised the “Bangladesh Bank Remittance Award-2015” in recognition of expatriates’ contribution to the country’s economy.
Bangladesh Bank awarded 26 highest remittance senders, 5 bond investors and 4 exchange houses owned by non-resident Bangladeshis.
As the chief guest, Finance Minister AMA Muhith handed over the awards to the awardees at the function with Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor SK Sur Chowdhury in the chair.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir was also present as special guest.
Addressing the ceremony, Muhith announced that he would mention his plan of using forex reserve for financing projects in the next budget.
He, however, assured the expatriates that their money won’t be at risk as the government would be totally liable in case of any project failure.
Earlier, Bangladesh Bank former governor Atiur Rahman had proposed the government on various occasions to invest the growing foreign exchange reserve fund in the construction of Padma bridge.
The amount of foreign exchange reserve is $31.16bn as of August, which was around $4bn while the incumbent government took office in 2009.
Remittance inflow has led to the increase in foreign reserve.
Muhith put emphasis on giving skill development support to promote the remitters.
“We put more efforts on skill development programme for the expatriates as most workers going abroad are unskilled,” said the minister.
He also claimed that the country’s economy is now in a strong foothold as hartals or any kind of strikes called by the opposition political parties are not working.
He confidently said: “The growth will be 7.3% certainly in the next fiscal year.”
Urging the Bangladeshi expatriates for investing in Bangladesh, Fazle Kabir said: “It is the high time investors thought about investment in Bangladesh.”
Most of the highest remittance sender and bond investors were from UAE. Of the awardees, eight from Janata Bank, four from Standard Chartered Bank, three from Sonali Bank, three from HSBC, three from Pubali Bank, two from Bank Asia, two from NRBC and six were selected from Agrani, AB, Trust, BASIC, Mutual Trust, and NRB Bank.