Per capita debt about $365, Finance Minister tells parliament

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal
PID file photo

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday said that currently the per capita debt of the country is around US$ 365.

The minister disclosed the information while replying to a tabled question from ruling Awami League MP Haji Selim.

He said that the amount of foreign debt until June 2023 is $62,312.71 million (temporary), including $36,781.03 million from multilateral sources and $25,531.68 million from bilateral sources.

Kamal said that according to data from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the total population is 170.79 million and the current per capita debt is around $364.85.

According to the information provided by the finance minister, the highest $19,536.82 million was taken from the World Bank as loan.

While replying to a query of AL MP Kazim Uddin Ahmed from Mymensingh-11, the finance minister said that according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) standards, as of 12 October, the amount of gross foreign reserve in the country is $21,116.59 million.

He said that as a result of the increase in the prices of various products including fuel in the international market, due to the increase in import costs and the decrease in the amount of remittances, the amount of foreign exchange reserves has decreased, but there is no shortage of reserve in the country.

In response to a question of Jatiya Party MP Mashiur Rahman Ranga, the finance minister said that in the last five years (2019-2023), some 1,408 kg of gold has been recovered by the customs authorities of the airport. The estimated value of which is Tk 12.26 billion.

He said that 1272.10 kg of recovered gold has been deposited with the Bangladesh Bank.

While replying to a query of ruling party MP Nurunnabi Chowdhury from Bhola-3, the finance minister said that the number of tax identification number holders in the country till September this year is over 9.34 million.
He also said that as per Income Tax Act-2023 spot tax assessment has been abolished.

In response to a question of AL MP Mahfuzur Rahman from Chattogram-3, the finance minister said that till June, 2023, the number of individual taxpayers in the country is over 8.95 million.

In response to the question of Jatiya Party MP Syed Abu Hussain, the finance minister said the Ukraine-Russia war and war-related sanctions have resulted in increased inflation, reduced foreign exchange reserves and some pressure on currency exchange rates.

The government has taken various steps to reduce inflation and restructure reserves, he claimed in parliament.