Update March 20, 2020 Ago

Dhaka 3-00 pm, 08-April, 2020

Business FBCCI President thanks PM for relaxing BB measures to counter virus impact

FBCCI President thanks PM for relaxing BB measures to counter virus impact

FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim has appreciated the measures by the Bangladesh Bank to help offset the impact of coronavirus on businesses by relaxing banking rules in favour of the country’s entrepreneurs.

In a statement on Friday, Fahim said the relaxed measures would help create “breathing space” for the entrepreneurs as the businesses have started feeling the pinch of the onslaught of the coronavirus across the world.

The Bangladesh Bank on Thursday asked banks not to consider entrepreneurs as defaulters if they fail to repay loan instalments until June 30 this year. Banks will have to maintain the credit status of a borrower as of January 30 until June 30, it said.

“We, from the FBCCI, have been advocating for such measures from the very beginning of the outbreak in China. We’ve coordinated with the ministries concerned and the Prime Minister’s Office by evaluating the situation, and now we’ve got the results,” Fahim said.

He further said, “I sincerely thank Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, finance and commerce ministers and the Bangladesh Bank for the relaxed measures to help the entrepreneurs stay afloat during this special time.”

By introducing a set of policy measures to keep the country’s financial activities stable amid concern that the outbreak could adversely affect the trade and finance and thwart job creation, the Bangladesh Bank has also asked banks to prepare plans so that businesses can continue their operations without any trouble.

The monthly transition limit using mobile financial services (MFS) has been increased to Tk 200,000 from Tk 75,000. Clients will not fork out any charge for cashing out Tk 1,000 a day.

Merchants will not be charged for settling transactions of Tk 15,000 every day while selling medicines and other essential goods if clients use debit or credit card for payment.

The charge-free transaction limit for merchants is Tk 100,000 per month. The transaction limit using contactless debit and credit cards rose to Tk 5,000 per day from Tk 3,000 previously.

Banks will also have to run automated teller machines (ATM), point of sale (POS), internet and app-based banking uninterruptedly, the BB said.

Banks will have to supply adequate cash and e-money to cash counters of branches, agent banking outlets, ATMs and agent points of MFS. The points of cash transaction, including ATM booths and POS terminals should be disinfected and provide sanitizer to clients, the central bank directed.

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