• Tuesday, May 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:32 am

BB asks banks to make import payments on time

  • Published at 12:39 am January 28th, 2021
Huge number of imported reconditioned vehicles are still awaiting clearance at the Chittagong port MD MANIK/ Dhaka Tribune

As of September last year, the overdue of unsettled import bills stood at $23.79 million

The Bangladesh Bank on Wednesday instructed banks to make import payments on time as a large number of them have failed to do so, which has tarnished the country’s image in the international arena. 

The instruction came at a meeting with managing directors of banks.

As of September last year, the overdue of unsettled import bills stood at $23.79 million and local unsettled import bills stood at $31.22 million, as per the central bank report. 

As many as 29 banks have unsettled import bills, while the performance of some banks was not good, said a high official of the BB who was present at the meeting, which was presided over by BB Governor Fazle Kabir.

“The governor strictly instructed banks to make import payments on time as the foreign embassies have heaped allegations in this regard,” he said.

The issue of implementation of the stimulus packages was discussed at the meeting.

Of the government-announced 23 packages, the central bank has been monitoring the implementation of nine of them directly.

Kabir asked the banks to complete disbursement of the entire fund within the deadline of March.

The lenders are very slow in giving out the funds from the stimulus packages for the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises and farmers.  

The banks have so far disbursed about 46 per cent of the package to beleaguered borrowers in the CMSME sector. 

The implementation of the stimulus package would not only help businesses to tackle the economic fallout from the pandemic but also give banks respite from excess liquidity problems, Kabir said in the meeting.

Besides, the implementation of the package would help to boost private sector credit growth at large, the governor said.

Private sector credit growth stood at 8.37 per cent in December last year, some way off the BB’s target of 14.8 per cent for this fiscal year.

“The regulatory body asked banks to settle overdue import bills as soon as possible to save the country’s image,” said Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director of Mutual Trust Bank.

The country’s overall economy, monetary policy and the present situation of stimulus package disbursement were also discussed in the meeting, he added.

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