The Bangladesh Bank on Monday said banks can remit foreign currency for meeting academic fees including boarding and lodging, medical and incidental expenses of Bangladeshi students stranded abroad amid coronavirus lockdown.
In a circular issued on the day, the central bank said, "To facilitate health insurance for students having no coverage or limited coverage, authorised dealers (AD) banks can remit medical expenses to students requiring emergency treatment.
"In this context, the ADs shall release foreign currency based on the estimates supported by certificate of medical professionals from the country where students reside."
The facility would be effective till June 30 this year, the Bangladesh Bank circular said.
The central bank has also extended the time of providing foreign exchange facilities to Bangladeshi nationals travelling abroad, including for their treatment, by one month to June 30 this year.
The circular said it was observed that Bangladesh nationals visiting abroad were facing problems in returning home due to travel disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"To facilitate their expenses required abroad, it has been decided to allow Authorised Dealers (banks) to release foreign exchange within the permissible limit of travel and/or medical treatment in their international cards," it said.
Banks can remit money to the designated accounts abroad through bank transfer or make fund available to them through exchange houses by credit in the concerned Taka accounts maintained under drawing arrangements.
The Bangladesh Bank has also advised banks to give excess fund, if necessary, to meet the Bangladeshi nationals' urgent needs. But, before releasing excess funds, banks have to check the genuineness of the necessity, it said.
In another circular, the central bank asked banks to consider heavy furnace oil (HFO) or high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) as raw materials for the power generating enterprises and allowing import on deferred payment facility for up to 360 days.
To avail such credit facility, power-generating entities must have specific approval from the power, energy and mineral resources ministry.
Meanwhile, the central bank in another circular on Monday allowed banks to settle inland letter of credits through their Nastro accounts.
Considering the small volume of transactions, the banks should have suitable arrangements with their correspondents abroad for the transactions with minimum charges, it said.