July 25, 2021, 4:47 am


Staff Correspondent

Published:
2021-07-02 11:15:14 BdST

NDB asked to expedite Bangladesh's membership


Bangladesh has called on the New Development Bank (NDB) to expedite awarding its membership of the Shanghai-based multilateral lending institution, officials said.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the request to NDB President Marcos Prado Troyjo at a virtual meeting on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the government has formed a team, headed by the additional secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), to expedite the process of obtaining the membership through meeting the requirements, said an official at the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

He said the team is scheduled to sit on July 15 next to work out all the necessary processes and documentation as required by the bank, formed by the BRICS member nations, he said.

Earlier at a meeting in February last, Mr Kamal had informed the NDB president about Bangladesh's formal decision to join the development bank as a shareholder.

The NDB president has assured the finance minister of expediting the process, according to a press release issued here by the MoF.

Mr Troyjo expressed the bank's willingness to stand beside Bangladesh, which is achieving a ballooning economic development.

The NDB, led by BRICS members - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, had already offered shares to the UN member countries, including Bangladesh.

At the last meeting in February, Bangladesh sought at least 1.0 per cent stake in the bank, which was established in July 2015 through an agreement reached in Brazil.

The initial authorised capital of the bank is US$100 billion divided into 1.0 million shares having a face value of $100,000 each.

The initial subscribed capital of the NDB is $50 billion divided into paid-in shares ($10 billion) and callable shares ($40 billion).

The initial subscribed capital of the bank was equally distributed among the founding members.

The agreement on the NDB specifies that every member will have one vote and no one would have any veto powers.

Meanwhile, a MoF official said that Bangladesh had been offered nearly 0.76 percent shares in the NDB initially.

If the UN member countries join the bank, the share of Bangladesh would ultimately reach 0.42 percent.

Dhaka will have to pay some $382 million in the next seven years for becoming a shareholder of the bank, he added.

According to the NDB's plan, the BRICS countries would offload 49 percent share among the aspirant countries.

In 2016, Bangladesh joined the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The Beijing-based lender has been financing many projects in Bangladesh in several sectors such as power, transportation, water supply and sanitation.

After the independence in 1971, many multilateral and bilateral donors, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan, Islamic Development Bank, UKAID, and USAID have been providing loans and grants for developing the country's infrastructure and reducing hunger.

Meanwhile, Mr Kamal had another meeting with Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Shixin Chen on Thursday and requested the lender to continue the extended support to Bangladesh.

Mr Kamal thanked the ADB for its quick financial support amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expressing the ADB's willingness to support Bangladesh's economic and social recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Chen said the ADB would remain with the country in the future days amid the coronavirus pandemic.

ADB in last month provided US$ 940 million worth of loans to Bangladesh government for procuring vaccine.

In addition, the Manila-based lender had also confirmed more than $ 850 million worth of financial supports, including a budgetary support for economic recovery, and COVID preparedness works.

Finance secretary Abdur Rouf Chowdhury, ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin and high officials from the ERD and MoF were present at both meetings.

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