Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh has made a routine payment of US$650 million to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) against imports during the March-April period of 2020.

After the payment, foreign exchange (forex) reserves fell to $32.43 billion on Sunday from $33.09 billion of the previous working day, according to the central bank officials.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, 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 interest thereof are to be paid by the member countries at the end of every two months.

The amount of ACU payment rose to $650 million during the period under review from $1.15 billion earlier mainly due to higher imports from the ACU member countries, particularly from India, they explained.

Bangladesh is now importing different consumer items, cotton, raw materials and capital machinery from the ACU member countries, especially from neighbouring India, according to the BB officials.

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.