The Bangladesh Bank asked banks to speed up payments owed to foreign airlines, said the central bank Executive Director and acting spokesperson Md Abdul Bashar.
Various newspapers have reported that foreign airlines owed $214 million to several local banks, but in reality, the amount is $177.79 million, not $214 million, Basher said on Tuesday in an emergency press conference.
“We have reviewed and found that the respective banks have the ability to pay in dollars. We have already instructed the banks to take prompt action regarding the payment. Maybe the due amount will decrease in the next few days,” Bashar said.
Around $402.18 million has been paid in the airlines sector from January this year to June 6, said the spokesperson.
Another central bank official said that generally foreign airlines have to send revenue to their companies during the March-April period. As a result, banks face pressure of due payment.
On the other hand, the banks delayed to pay to airlines due to the current US dollar crisis in Bangladesh, he added.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Bangladesh has withheld approximately $214 million in airline blocked funds, making it the second-worst performing country in the world in this regard.
Of the entire blocked funds, the top five countries account for 68 per cent.
These nations are as follows: Nigeria with $812.2 million, Bangladesh with $214.1 million, Algeria with $196.3 million, Pakistan with $188.2 million, and Lebanon with $141.2 million, according to an IATA release.