The deferred payment period for the imports of essential equipment for eye care, including lenses, has been extended to six months from the existing three months.
The central bank's Foreign Exchange Policy Department issued a circular in this regard on Thursday.
Other relevant rules and regulations will remain unchanged except for the time extension, the circular said.
In the case of ophthalmic medical equipment imports, including intraocular lens, for eye treatment, drug makers will now be allowed up to 180 days instead of the existing 90 days to settle deferred payments.
Although imports of many other products at this time of the pandemic have dropped, the pharma sector has witnessed a significant rise in imports.
In July this year, the sector's capital machinery imports rose by 150% on the back of increased demand for medicines and health safety products. At the same time, imports of raw materials for manufacturing healthcare products have gone up by 30%.
In the meantime, during July-September of the current fiscal year, the rate of opening Letters of Credit for importing capital machinery meant for the pharma sector increased by 25% over the same period of the last fiscal year.
The result of high import is already evident in the pharmaceutical companies' financial performance and business expansion announcements. The large drug manufacturers have posted a 10-30% growth in their business amid the pandemic.
Renata Limited witnessed a 31% jump in its sales in the third quarter of the 2019-20 financial year. Sales of Square Pharmaceuticals rose by 12% in that quarter.
ACI Limited registered a net profit of Tk4 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, putting the brakes on a series of quarterly losses.
The profit of the company was bolstered mostly by rising sales of its pharmaceutical and hygiene products, according to the company.