Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The rate of growth in the country’s overall import payments fell drastically in the first 11 months of the fiscal year (FY) 2011-12 because of the lower import of food grains and luxurious items.
The import growth rate came down to 10.93 per cent during the July-May period of the FY ’12 from 40.54 per cent of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.
“The overall import growth has decreased because of lower import of food grains and consumer items, particularly non-essential ones,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.
He also said the pressure on import payments may ease further in the coming months as import orders have been showing a negative growth over the recent months.
Opening of fresh letters of credit (LCs) against imports, generally known as import orders, registered a negative growth of 6.35 percent during the July-May period of FY’12 against 39.60 percent growth during the corresponding period of FY’11.
Import LCs valued at $32.428 billion were settled during the first 11 months of the FY’12 against $29.232 billion in the corresponding period of last fiscal, the BB data showed.
The central banker said the overall import growth fell in the recent months as the banks discouraged opening of fresh LCs for import of non-essential luxury products in line with the BB’s ongoing ‘restrained’ monetary policy.
Import of food grains such as rice, in terms of settlement of LCs, witnessed a negative growth of 54.16 per cent. The imports fell to $834.93 million during the period under review from that of $1.821 billion during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
BBN/SSR/AD-09July12-10:23 am (BST)