The Bangladesh Bank has extended import facilities on agricultural implements and chemical fertilisers in a bid to maintain steady production and supply of food in the country.
The central bank on Sunday relaxed foreign exchange regulations, allowing banks to extend the usance period on import of agricultural implements and chemical fertilisers for up to one year instead of six months.
Importers will now get a maximum of one year to pay their import bills. The period will, however, depend on the actual needs of their clients concerned, read a Bangladesh Bank circular.
"We have relaxed our foreign exchange regulations to facilitate fertiliser importers who have faced problems due to supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak," said a senior official of the central bank.
Meanwhile, the circular further read, "With a view to minimise Covid-19 pandemic related disruptions to import of agricultural implements and chemical fertilisers, the Bangladesh Bank has decided to allow authorised dealers to extend the usance period.
"Such relaxation will continue till September 30 this year."
To overcome the economic shock of this global pandemic, the government has already declared a Tk5,000 crore stimulus fund for agricultural credit at 4 percent interest.
Moreover, the sharecroppers, small businesses and low-income people can borrow at 9 percent interest through non-government organisations or micro finance institutions from a refinance scheme of Tk3,000 crore from the Bangladesh Bank.
All these initiatives have been taken to support the agriculture sector in maintaining a stable food supply after the pandemic ends, the senior central bank official said.