The central bank on Sunday asked the commercial banks to charge lowest level margin while opening letter of credit (LC) for importing essential commodities.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued the directive to help keep the prices of essentials stable during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan.
The commodities include edible oil, chickpeas, peas, pulse, spices, dates, fruits and sugar.
The instruction takes immediate effect and will remain effective until May 15 next.
The banks usually charge 5.0-10 per cent and even higher LC margin based on bank-client relationship. The banks do not even charge the margin if the importer is a good client.
However, a number of importers told the FE that they all have already imported the essential items to be required for the month.
Such circular should have been issued at least two months earlier for ensuring effective and adequate supply of the essential goods in the local market, they said.
"We've already imported goods for Ramadan. Why did the central bank issue such circular just two weeks before the holy month?" said a leading importer based in Chattogram.