Imports from the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) member countries increased by more than 23 per cent in the March-April period of this financial year. The ACU payment surged to $1.75 billion in 2021 from $1.42 billion earlier due to higher imports from the ACU member countries, especially India.
After the payment, the country’s foreign exchange (forex) reserve decreased to $43.58 billion on 6th May (Thursday) from $45.18 billion on the previous working day, according to the Bangladesh Bank.
A BB senior official said Bangladesh is now importing different consumer items, cotton, raw materials and capital machinery from the ACU member countries, especially from India.
“Rice import from India has pushed up the overall ACU import payment obligations during the period under review,” said a senior executive official at a leading private commercial bank (PCB).
Besides, a portion of import particularly for the apparel and clothing sector has already shifted to India from China mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, putting pressure on ACU payment, according to the private banker.
The central bank has already handed over the fund to the ACU headquarters in Tehran, following the existing provisions of the union.
In addition, outstanding import bills and interest thereof are to be paid under the existing provisions by the member countries at the end of every two months.