Fahim hails PM for relaxed BB measures to offset virus impact
DHAKA, March 20, 2020 (BSS) – FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim today said they welcomed the measures taken by Bangladesh Bank (BB) to help counter impact of coronavirus on businesses by relaxing banking rules for entrepreneurs.
In a statement, 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.
BB on Thursday asked banks not to consider entrepreneurs as defaulters if they fail to repay loan installments 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 have coordinated with the ministries concerned and the Prime Minister’s Office by evaluating the situation, and now we have got the results,” Fahim said.
“I sincerely thank Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, finance and commerce ministers and BB for the relaxed measures to help the entrepreneurs stay afloat during this special time,” he said.
By introducing a set of policy measures to keep the country’s financial activities stable amid concern that the outbreak could adversely impact the trade and finance and thwart job creation, BB 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 Taka 200,000 from Taka 75,000. Clients will not fork out any charge for cashing out Taka 1,000 per day. Merchants will not be charged for settling transactions of Taka 15,000 daily while selling medicines and other essential goods if clients use debit or credit card for payment.
The charge-free transaction limit for merchants is Taka 100,000 per month. The transaction limit using contactless debit and credit cards rose to Taka 5,000 per day from Taka 3,000 previously. Banks will also have to run automated teller machines (ATM), point of sale (POS), internet and app-based banking uninterruptedly, 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.