Despite the rising value of the US dollar and spiralling rates of fuel and food grains on the international market, overall inflation in the country is still within the government ceiling, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday.
"Overall inflation did not creep up. We regularly review and update our inflation data. So far, there is nothing to worry about," Mustafa Kamal told journalists while replying to a query if there is any inflation worry as imports are turning costlier, riding on a pricier dollar and spiked rates of liquefied natural gas on the international market.
Emerging from a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, the finance minister claimed that the recent rise of the dollar price was also "normal".
"The dollar fluctuates owing to demand and supply in the local market as the price is not fixed in Bangladesh. It is normal that the US dollar will rally if supply is low," said the minister, adding that neither the government nor the Bangladesh Bank interfered in the price of the dollar.
"Dollar rates are still left to the market as they were in the past," said Mustafa Kamal.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently called for curtailing the central bank's control over foreign exchange management. The minister was asked if the dollar rates were left to the market in the face of the IMF recommendation.
"I do not know what the IMF has said," he told reporters. "The IMF is our development partner. So, it can place its recommendations on various issues, but we make decisions according to our own policy."
Mustafa Kamal said the government thinks its pegged currency, a policy in which a government sets a specific fixed exchange rate for its currency with a foreign currency or a basket of currencies, is flexible.
On the falling capital market, the minister said investors should bear in mind the risks of the market while putting their money in.
"The government has been coming up with various forms of policy support to the market, and that will continue in the future. But if one invests in the market to make a quick buck, it will not happen." he noted.
Replying to a query on enlisting 26 government-owned companies in the market and floating shares of state-owned banks, the finance minister said initiatives had been taken to alleviate the crisis of "good shares" in the market. But they did not succeed.
"Market supporting measures across the world include floating good shares, and we wanted to do the same. State-owned banks operate independently. When they are convinced that floating shares will meet up with good prices for them, they will get listed on their own," the minister said.