Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s industrial imports jumped by 26.35 per cent or US$1.54 billion in the first two months of the current fiscal year (FY) mainly due to a surge in capital machinery imports, officials said.

The actual imports in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) rose to $7.38 billion during the July-August period of FY 2017-18 from $5.84 in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank’s latest report on industrial sectors import.

On the other hand, opening of LCs, generally known as import orders, jumped 57.45 per cent to $8.33 billion in the period from $5.29 billion in the same period of FY 2016-17.

Imports of capital machinery or industrial equipment used for production went up by 37.88 per cent to $1.89 billion in the first two months of the FY18 as against $1.37 billion in the July-August period of the previous fiscal year.

Talking to BBN, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, said higher imports in textile, garment, pharmaceutical, telecom and, energy and power sectors helped to achieve such import growth.

Such imports increased substantially with the setting up of power plants and implementation of different infrastructure projects, including Padma Bridge, the central banker explained.

He also said the imports of industrial raw materials and machinery for industries also recorded a healthy growth during the period, indicating that the economic growth would accelerate further due to increased productivity.

Imports of intermediate goods like coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels have increased by15.88 per cent to $625.18 million during the period from $539.49 million in the same period of the previous fiscal.

On the other hand, imports of industrial raw materials increased by 19.26 per cent to $3.05 billion during the period from $2.56 billion in the same period previous fiscal year.

The machinery or equipment for building flyovers and for balancing, modernisation, rehabilitation and expansion (BMRE) of industrial units, particularly apparel factories, also helped increase the industrial imports, according to the central banker.

Meanwhile, the import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed a 14.95 per cent growth to $998 million as compared to $868 million in the same period of the previous fiscal.

He said the overall industrial imports might increase further in the coming months due to implementation of different infrastructure development projects across the country.

Currently, the government is implementing nine projects under a Fast-Track Project Monitoring Committee, headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

BBN/SSR/AD