The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has called for extending the time limit for repatriating export earnings.
Under the existing rules, export earnings have to be repatriated within 120 days after the shipment of export goods. If the earnings are not repatriated timely, the exporters will not get cash assistance and banking benefits. However, due to Covid-19, it had been extended to 210 days. Now the BGMEA wants the continuation of the pandemic-time facility.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan made the call at a meeting with Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir at its headquarters in the capital on Sunday afternoon.
According to sources in the meeting, the BGMEA leaders said that even though the impact of Covid has diminished in the country, they have to bring various types of raw materials at extra prices due to rising prices of products in the world market. In addition, they have to pay extra for shipping in case of export of goods, so they have made these demands again.
In this regard, Executive Director and Spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank Sirajul Islam said that BGMEA wanted the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries' equitable loan classification facility till next December and demanded an extension of time for repatriation of export earnings to the country.
Earlier, a bankers' meeting was held with the managing directors of banks on Thursday to discuss the demand made by the country's apex trade body. The governor chaired the meeting.
According to meeting sources, several of the managing directors said businessmen have received the special benefit of repaying loans for two long years. Those who were not affected by the pandemic also took this advantage of the facility.
Although many good institutions had an opportunity to repay the loans at that time, they have not done that. Now the business is fully operational so banks will face losses if the facility is given afresh, they added.
But, the MDs of other banks presented their arguments in favour of increasing the loan repayment facility anew. They said the Covid-19 is not fully over yet. Russia's war in Ukraine has also had a major impact on the rise in prices of all kinds of goods and exports.
Therefore, the moratorium should be given till December this year with receiving a reasonable amount of down payment.