The government signed foreign assistance agreements worth $51.01 billion over the last five fiscal years and the inflow of foreign aid is likely to increase in the coming years due to implementation of the mega projects, reports BSS.
This was disclosed at a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Finance held at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban on July 28 with its Chairman AH Mahmood Ali in the chair. Committee members Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, M Abdus Shaheed, Mostafizur Rahman Chowdhury, Abul Kalam M Ahsanul Haque Chowdhury, Ahmed Firoz Kabir, Rumana Ali and Rana Mohammed Sohel attended the meeting.
According to a summary of the report placed before the meeting, the mid-term projection of commitment of foreign aid in the current fiscal year (FY20) has been set at $8,477 million. Bangladesh is likely to get a commitment of $8,853 million foreign aid in the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 while the commitment would further rise to $9,205 million in the Fiscal Year 2021-2022.
The report compiled by the Economic Relations Division (ERD) under the Ministry of Finance showed that the commitment of foreign aid to Bangladesh during the last fiscal year (FY19) reached $9,795.86 million including $8,248.82 million in loans and $1,547.04 million in grants. Against the commitment, the disbursement of foreign aid in the last fiscal totaled $6,210.06 million and thus achieving 97.77 percent of the foreign aid disbursement target of $6,351 million as per the revised ADP. Out of the disbursed amount in the last fiscal year (FY19), the loans accounted for the bulk of $5,954.07 million while the grants $255.99 million.
Talking to BSS, an Additional Secretary of the ERD preferring anonymity said that implementation of the development programmes of the government is increasing day by day. “That’s why the commitment as well as the disbursement of foreign aid will increase further in the coming years due to the implementation of the mega projects and other development projects.”
The ERD data also showed that the government made a repayment of $1,565.07 million in the last fiscal year (FY19) including $1,178.37 million as principal amount and $386.70 million as interests. Besides, the government sets a target of repaying $1,850 million in the current Fiscal Year 2019-2020 including $1,350 million as principal amount and $500 million as interests.
The government is eying to repay higher in the next fiscal year (FY21) with $2,000 million including $1,400 million as principal amount and $600 million as interests. According to the meeting sources, the government is trying to diversify the source of foreign assistance to meet the growing demand of investment in the country.
The government has already inked agreements for taking loans from the newly formed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) while efforts are on to realize more grants from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Expressing satisfaction at the current state of debt sustainability, the meeting was also informed that efforts are on to take selective non-concessional loans for investing in the priority infrastructure sector.
The meeting also discussed the present state and operations of the Finance Division, Financial Institutions Division, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Bangladesh Bank and also the application of the Grameen Bank Retired Officials Employees Welfare Association.