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The Financial Express
Swasti Lankabangla Swasti Lankabangla

Bangladesh Bank extends policy support to businesses for six months

| Updated: October 15, 2020 19:46:56


The Bangladesh Bank seal is pictured on the wall outside the central bank headquarters in Motijheel, the bustling commercial hub in capital Dhaka — UNB/Files The Bangladesh Bank seal is pictured on the wall outside the central bank headquarters in Motijheel, the bustling commercial hub in capital Dhaka — UNB/Files

The central bank has extended its policy supports for the businesses by another six months to help offset the adverse impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, officials said.

Under the policy supports, importers are allowed to enjoy different benefits relating to advance payment, import of raw materials, chemical fertiliser and life-saving drugs until March 31, 2021 instead of September 30, 2020.

"We've extended the deadline to help the businesses cope up with the current circumstances," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE.

He said the central bank extended the tenure in response to the business community's recommendations.

Mohammad Ali Khokon, president of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), welcomed the BB's latest moves, saying that it will facilitate the overall business activities of Bangladesh.

"Both exporters and importers will be benefited from the extension," he said while replying to a question.

Advance import payments upto US$ 500,000 can be made without repayment guarantees or the central bank's approval as per the policy.

Raw materials, agriculture implements, chemical fertiliser can be imported for a usance period of 360 days, instead of 180 days, under the supplier's/buyer's credit.

The BB also allowed import of life-saving drugs upto 180 days as the usance period instead of previous 90 days.

Authorized dealer (AD) banks can also open letter of credit (LC) with the realisation clause during this period, according to the notification issued by the central bank earlier.

Local bills in foreign currency can be settled through nostro accounts abroad instead of the BB, it added.

Another circular allowed refinancing facilities, during the extended period, up to 180 days from the export development fund (EDF) for settlement of non-EDF back-to-back LCs opened till September 2020.

As per the instructions, AD banks needed to be satisfied about the bonafide grounds on non-availability of extendedusance period/refinancing facilities for an extendable tenure of 180 days.

The facilities will remain valid up to March 31, 2021 for the drawing of refinances, the BB said in the circular on Tuesday.

siddique.islam@gmail.com

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