The Financial Express

Bangladesh Bank asked to transfer foreign exchange reserve from US soon

| Updated: December 31, 2021 10:15:32

Bangladesh Bank asked to transfer foreign exchange reserve from US soon

Authorities have been asked to deposit Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserve with banks other than America’s to avoid possible US sanctions in the near future.

A legal notice has been served, in this regard, upon the government bodies concerned. It demanded that all necessary steps be taken to secure the reserve money transferring it from the Federal Reserve Bank of the USA to any other secured country/ies.

Accordingly, the authorities have been advised to avoid the use of US dollars as the sole currency for the country’s foreign transactions.

The Bangladesh Bank governor has been made respondent alongside the finance secretary and the foreign affairs secretary to comply with the notice. They have been asked to take the necessary steps within 30 days from the date of receiving the demand notice.

Otherwise, a writ petition would be filed with the High Court against the notice receivers, read the legal notice issued by a Supreme Court lawyer named Md Mahmudul Hasan on Monday.

It said Bangladesh should maintain a minimum amount of foreign reserve in the US Federal Reserve Bank just to continue regular operations of commercial activities.

The legal notice raised the demand referring to the US treasury department’s sanctions on seven officials especially ones from the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) alleging human rights violations in the country.

“The United States has a long history to [sic] block/freeze the foreign reserve, properties of different countries. On the other hand, Bangladesh largely maintains the foreign reserve in the Federal Reserve Bank of the USA,” the notice pointed out.

It claimed that the imposition of sanctions against the RAB, its ex-officials, and also ex-army chief is a ‘matter of international politics and conspiracy’.

“This may be the beginning [sic] and in near future, more sanctions and more conspiracies may be imposed over Bangladesh,” said the notice.

It lauded the contribution of RAB to safeguarding human rights in Bangladesh, however, acknowledging, “During the time of operations against violation of law, many mistakes might have happened.”

The legal notice mentioned that Bangladesh is geopolitically a very important country for powerful states. “So, Bangladesh has been the subject matter [sic] of international politics and the victim of an international conspiracy,” it said.

The notice went on to express apprehension that as part of ‘international politics and conspiracy’, in the near future, Bangladesh’s foreign reserve deposited in the US Federal Reserve Bank might be blocked or frozen.

“So, as a preventive measure, it is very much important to secure the foreign reserve of Bangladesh; otherwise the people of Bangladesh may have to suffer irreparable loss and suffering.”

“For the interest of the people of Bangladesh, the notice receivers should transfer the foreign reserve to the secured countries,” the notice added.

It also insisted that the notice receivers should avoid the US dollar as the sole currency of foreign transactions. “The notice receivers should patronise different currencies such as GBP, EURO, RMB, INR for our foreign transactions and also should maintain sufficient reserve of gold,” the notice argued.

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