Next govt to inherit $1.8b extra foreign loan burden

The Daily New Age :::: 20 December 2008

Asif Showkat

The interim government is likely to leave an additional burden of $1.80-billion foreign loan for the next elected government, official sources said.
As on September 30 foreign loan stood at $20.40 billion, posting a 9.67 per cent growth from $18.60 billion two years ago, when the four-party alliance government left power, the officials said.
‘The burden of foreign loans will be more or less the same at the end of this calendar year,’ said a senior official of Foreign Aid Budget Accounts department of the Economic Relation Division.
The official also said the growth rate of foreign loan during the interim government was higher than that during the four-party rule.
The FABA data shows in 2001-02 fiscal, when the Awami League government left power, the foreign loan stood at $15.88 billion.
The BNP-led four-party alliance government had added a $2.72 billion or 17.12 per cent extra foreign loan burden on the country during its five-year rule from 2001-02 to 2005-06 fiscal.
Meanwhile, the per capita debt burden, which was $6.59 in 1973-74, soared to $147 in 2006-07.
Today, every child in Bangladesh is born with a burden of Tk 10,920 foreign debt.
The foreign debts are not spent for the country’s development, said Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir, chairman of Unnayan Onneshan, a research organisation. ‘Most of the foreign loans usually go out of the country as consultancy fee and interest on the loans.’
Titumir said the donor-supported interim government received foreign loans in much higher amount than any other political government had for the short-term development, which is not good for the country.
Anu Mohammad, professor of Jahangirnagar University, said multi-donor agencies were providing unnecessary loans to the country, which was not used for reducing the poverty level of the people.


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