The main beneficiaries of this money laundering are corrupt bureaucrats, engineers, military officers, unscrupulous politicians, businessmen and bank borrowers. CID says that the lion’s share of 750 billion taka belongs to this circle. If the policy of ‘zero tolerance’ remains ineffective, it will be impossible to solve the problem of money laundering. No matter how much the government denies it, the common people’s perception is that the corruption under the present government is more than during the era of BNP and Jatiya Party government.
The talk of the last one year has been about the collapse of Sri Lanka, once a strong economy in South Asia. It is difficult to say how long it will take for the country to recover from this trauma. In 2019, Sri Lanka’s per capita GDP had reached about US$ 4000. But due to the current economic slowdown, Sri Lanka may not be able to increase its per capita GDP from 2020, at least in the next five years.
Meanwhile, even though Bangladesh has to deal with dwindling foreign exchange reserves and falling taka value, it has been able to maintain a positive trend in the growth of GDP and GNI. IMF, World Bank and ADB have predicted that Bangladesh’s GDP growth in the current fiscal year 2022-23 will range between 5.2 percent to 6 percent. In the financial year 2022-22, Bangladesh’s import expenditure was set to increase by about 33 percent to USD 85 billion, mainly due to increase in the prices of LNG, oil and other petroleum products, edible oil, sugar, wheat and fertilizer in the international market . , Also, money laundering through over-invoicing in import LCs was also a major factor behind this.
With the government implementing stricter import control measures from August 2022, the LC opening rate has declined by nearly 9 per cent in the last five months. Moreover, as Bangladesh Bank has strengthened its LC over-invoicing monitoring system, over-invoicing is showing signs of reducing to some extent. If the government implements its ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy and takes tough measures against money laundering and such devious methods, I think Bangladesh’s economy will be able to overcome the balance of payments crisis.