Govt approves ‘Sovereign Wealth Fund’

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Dhaka, February 6: The government on Monday approved in principle a Finance Division proposal to create ‘Bangladesh Sovereign Wealth Fund’ with a view to making foreign reserves useful during the time of needs.
The approval came from the regular weekly cabinet meeting held at the secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam said the authorized capital of the Sovereign Fund would be US$ 10 billion and its primary capital would be US$ 2 billion, which would be channeled from Bangladesh Bank’s Foreign Exchange Reserve.
He said, “The size of our present foreign exchange reserve is around US$ 30 to 32 billion.”
So, the reserve will not be affected or our economy will not face any trouble if we take two billion dollars from there to create the sovereign fund, the newsmen were told.
The cabinet secretary said many countries developed identical funds and “we direly need such a fund to support the matching-fund with foreign countries or banks”.
He also said details of the objectives of the initiative was yet to be drawn out but the proposal suggested that it could be invested in multifaceted purposes including infrastructure development, payment of international trade and disaster management.
The today’s meeting also approved five drafts on different laws, including Bangladesh Chartered Accountants Act-2017 with a provision for scrapping membership of a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) for any misconducts or malpractices.
The other drafts which received the cabinet approval were: Trade Organizations Act-2017, Ground Water Management for Agriculture Act-2017 and ratification of two IMO conventions.