Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserve (forex) fell to US$ 31 billion on Tuesday following a regular payment to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU).

The forex reserve came down to $ 31.01 billion on the day from $ 32.09 billion of the previous working day, according to the central bank’s officials.

Bangladesh will be able to settle five months import payment bills with the reserve, they added.

On the other hand, the amount of ACU payment rose to $1.15 billion during the period under review from $1.13 billion earlier mainly due to higher imports from the ACU member countries particularly from India.

Talking to the BBN, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said Bangladesh is now importing different consumer items, cotton, raw materials and capital machinery from the ACU member countries, particularly from India.

He also said the central bank of Bangladesh has already remitted the fund to the ACU headquarters in Tehran in line with the existing provisions of the union.

Under the existing provisions, outstanding import bills and interests thereof are to be paid at the end of every two months among the member countries.

The ACU is an arrangement involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, through which intraregional transactions among the participating central banks are settled on a multilateral basis.

The union started its operation in November 1975 to boost trade among the member countries. Bangladesh and Myanmar joined the union as the sixth and seventh members in 1976 and 1977 respectively. Bhutan joined the ACU in December 1999 and the Maldives in January 2010.