Three months’ reserve is enough: PM
Regarding the reserve falling below 40 billion dollars in two years, the Prime Minister said, “We have some people doing it; there are many different kinds of stories and rumours. However, I think we have enough reserves to buy food for three months.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is not paying attention to the fact that Bangladesh’s reserves have dropped below 40 billion dollars for the first time in two years. He thinks that many people are making various kinds of rumours about this. But the reserve is enough.
The Prime Minister also said to increase the remittances and export earnings to increase foreign exchange, simplify the process of bringing expatriate income to the country, and improve institutional channels instead of hundi.
On Thursday morning, the Prime Minister spoke at the inauguration ceremony of 24 technical training centres built in different Upazilas of the country, including the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Centennial Technical Training Center. He joined virtually from his official residence Ganabhaban. He also announced the inauguration of the Institute of Marine Technology in Chittagong at the event.
At the event, the Prime Minister emphasized reducing consumption and increasing production in the country. He said, ‘We always have to remember one thing: minimize interdependence. We have to make arrangements to stand on our own feet.
The world economy is now in turmoil after the Russian attack on Ukraine amid rising food and fuel prices after improving the Corona situation. It has also affected Bangladesh. Reserves to pay commodity and fuel prices have dwindled a lot. It fell below $40 billion for the first time in two years.
The Prime Minister said, “We have some people doing many different stories and rumours. I think we have enough reserves to buy food for three months.
Besides the export of the workforce, Sheikh Hasina also mentioned the need for a force for the country. He said, “Our population is now a little over 165.1 million. In that case, 38 per cent of us are youth society. Therefore, we should not think we will only send this youth force abroad. We are creating 100 economic zones in the country. We need skilled workers there. Therefore, we will provide training; they will work in foreign countries and be employed in the country.
Concern over the reserve comma is evident among people. The rupee is depreciating against the dollar at a phenomenal rate.
The central bank increased the dollar price from 86 taka to 94 takes 70 paise within a few months. However, the price has risen to 112 bears in the open market. Even banks are selling at 105 to 108 taka.
Emphasis on remittances as well as exports
At the event, the Prime Minister also emphasized increasing the supply of foreign currency. He wants to focus on exports instead of relying solely on remittances.
He said, “We need to diversify our products and find new markets for our products so that we do not depend only on remittances to earn foreign exchange.”
“What kind of products are in demand in the new markets should be manufactured and sent to Bangladesh? From there, to earn foreign currency. We will take that action. That means we have to focus more on making our foreign exchange dependent on exports. In that direction, I would request that measure should be taken.
The Prime Minister also made sending money abroad to the country more accessible. He said, “I know they work in many places, but they don’t get any money exchange or bank facility to send money through the bank. They have to depend on hundi. On top of that, there are some agents in our country who incite people in various ways. It makes their profit if they send it through Hundi instead of through the bank.
The Prime Minister also called for increasing the production of food or agricultural products and emphasizing their processing. He said, ‘We need to reduce our dependence on consumables, i.e. food. Therefore, the production of our own country should be increased. Not only the production of products but also modern measures should be taken to preserve the products, and these food products or agricultural products processed products industry should be developed extensively. It will create a market in our own country, and we can also export it abroad.
Not abroad in the clutches of brokers
The head of the government also urged the youth not to go abroad at the persuasion of the elders. He said, “Don’t sell everything in the grip of a broker and go abroad. If you want to go abroad, you can take a loan from Pravasi Kalyan Bank. In case of need, there is an arrangement to give loans without collateral so that the land is not sold as a deposit and the property is not sold. So please don’t fall for any such temptation.’
He said, “There is a class of brokers who travel all over Bangladesh and try to motivate our various workers. If we encourage different families and send them out, there will be so much money, and this will be that; Dream of catching a golden deer.
And seeing that, he sold the land deposit, travelled on a path of uncertainty, and fell into danger. At that time, the government had to rescue them, or they were buried in the Mediterranean Sea, which was unfortunate.
The Prime Minister said, “Don’t sell everything in the grip of a broker and go abroad. If you want to go overseas, you can take a loan from Pravasi Kalyan Bank; if necessary, there is a provision for giving loans without collateral so that the land is not sold as a deposit, and the property is not sold.
The Prime Minister also stressed training to send skilled workers. He said you would face problems if you went abroad without proper training.
Sheikh Hasina also said that new labour markets had been created in 55 countries in the 13 and a half years of the Awami League government.
Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment Ministry Minister Imran Ahmed spoke under the chairmanship of Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment Ministry Parliamentary Standing Committee President Anisul Islam Mahmud, Manpower Employment and Training Bureau Director General Shahidul Alam and concerned ministry secretary Moniruch Salehin.