Covid-19 has had a major impact on the global economy. Bangladesh is no exception. An official document now suggests that the pandemic is going to have a massive influence on Dhaka's economic policies in the medium term, as the country looks forward to graduating out of the least developed country status in 2024.
Bangladesh, which is currently passing through a transitional phase, got the status of lower middle-income country status in 2015, as per the document. As a result, the country has to take blended loans from foreign sources. Blended loan means a mixture of concessional interest rate and normal interest rate loans from lenders. This causes additional charges in repaying foreign loans compared to the previous years.
The document mentioned that for paying the interest of the loans that have been taken from the external sources, the government will pay Tk 55.3 billion in the 2020-21 fiscal. The amount will be Tk 68.1 billion in 2021-22 fiscal, while Tk 80.9 billion in the next financial year.
The interest rates for loans taken from external sources was 0.7 per cent, 0.8 per cent, 0.9 per cent, 1.4 per cent, 1.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent for 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscals, respectively. But the interest rates for the same kind of loans will be 1.4 per cent, 1.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent for 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscals, respectively, as per the document.
On the other hand, Bangladesh is hoping to graduate out of the least developed country list by 2024. "In that time, Bangladesh will lose facilities as the least developed country, which it was getting," the document reads.
Moreover, according to the official document, the debt status of the country from foreign sources will be Tk 5882.6 billion in 2022-23 fiscal. This amount is 38 per cent of the total debt status of the specific time. The total amount will be Tk 15,480 billion. This amount is 38.3 per cent of the total GDP. The internal sources will contribute Tk 9597.8 billion in the total amount, which is 62 per cent of the amount.
In the 2021-22 fiscal, the debt status from the external sources will be Tk 5122.9 billion, which is 37.9 per cent of the total amount. Some Tk 13,531.5 billion will be the debt status. This amount is 37.8 per cent of the total GDP. Of the amount, internal sources will contribute Tk 8408.6 billion, which is 62.1 per cent of the amount.
In the current fiscal, the debt status stands at Tk 11,678.3 billion. This amount is 36.8 per cent of the total GDP. Internal sources are contributing Tk 7355.5 billion, which is 63 per cent, and external sources are contributing Tk 4322.8 billion, which is 37 per cent.