May 28, 2024

No decision yet on Colombo’s request for another $250m loan: Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister

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Bangladesh is looking into cash-strapped Sri Lanka’s request for another swap of $250 million, but no decision has been made yet, said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday.

“They have made another approach and we will look into it. It will be another loan but it is not decided yet,” he said while responding to a question in an interview on the sidelines of the 18th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting in Colombo, reports UNB.

It is not clear how things will work out amid the Russia-Ukraine war, which has created uncertainty for import-dependent Bangladesh, Momen said, adding, “So, we are watching it and seeing how we can help each other.”

Momen said when debt-ridden Sri Lanka faced difficulties, Bangladesh, for the first time, provided a loan of $250 million to the island nation through currency swap.

“Sri Lanka is still going through deepening financial difficulties. So, we extended the time for the repayment.”

It was the first-ever loan to any country from Bangladesh under the currency swap agreement inked by the BB and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on August 3 last year.

The island nation’s debt burden is apparently becoming increasingly heavy to handle and it is also struggling to make payments for imports of fuel and other necessities, leading to power cuts and other shortages.

In the meantime, Sri Lanka has also sought an additional credit line of $1 billion from India to import essentials amid its worst economic crisis in decades, two sources said on Monday, reported Reuters. (TBSReport)

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