Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the murmur of a liquidity crisis in the banks are plain rumours and urged members of the public not to heed to it.
“It’s a lie that there is no money in the banks,” she said while addressing an Awami League rally in Jashore on Thursday.
She reassured people of Bangladesh’s economic strength as she sought votes for her ruling Awami League ahead of next year’s parliamentary polls. "I see some people talk about reserves. There is no problem with the reserves.”
“Many people say that there is no money in the banks. Some people are withdrawing money from the banks. If the bank deposits are kept at home, the money will be stolen. It creates an opportunity for the thieves,” Hasina said.
"I had a meeting with the governor of Bangladesh Bank (Wednesday). We have no problem. Every bank has enough money," the prime minister added.
She blamed the BNP for spreading “rumours” about the economy.
“They [BNP] can’t do anything (good) but plunder whenever they come to power,” she said, noting that the reserves increased from $2.5 billion when the BNP’s tenure ended in 2006 to $48 billion in 2021.
The reserves started falling at an alarming rate afterwards as import costs grew higher than exports and inward remittances.
But the fall was nothing unusual, according to the prime minister. “The reserves reached around $48 billion because there wasn’t much export-import activities during the coronavirus pandemic.”
The government has spent the reserves on buying food and vaccines for the people, she said.
"We’re getting remittances, investments from abroad. Our exports have surged. Our tax collection has increased. While other countries are facing a recession, Bangladesh is still strong enough,” said Hasina.
Earlier, Bangladesh Bank brushed aside social media posts advising people to draw their deposits from banks as “conspiratorial”.
In an urgent statement on Nov 13, the central bank said the banks in the country are not facing a liquidity crisis.
“The banking system of Bangladesh is in a strong position. There is no liquidity crisis in the banking system,” the Bangladesh Bank said.
The statement referred to the fact that no bank has been closed in Bangladesh since independence, indicating that people’s deposits in the banks safe.