The maximum advance payment of $5 lakh without repayment guarantee has been extended till 30 June for the import of medical equipment, life-saving drugs and other essential hospital items.
Besides, the import cost of the industrial sector has been increased from 180 days to 360 days with the facility of delay payment till the same period (30June).
This means that the importer can pay the buyer within 360 days after opening the Letter of Credit for importing the goods.
This facility will be available till 30 June. The same facility will be available in the industrial sector and also in the import of agricultural machinery and chemical fertilizers.
The central bank's Foreign Exchange Policy Department issued a circular in this regard on Wednesday.
The circular said the duration of the ongoing facilities has been extended considering the existing Covid situation.
In the case of imports in October last year, these facilities were extended till 31 March this year.
As there is no significant improvement in Covid situation around the world, the benefits have been extended for another three months, added the notice.
Experts are of the view that the continuation of the facilities in the case of import will help address the second wave of the pandemic.
They say the growing demand for rapid import of relevant medical equipment and life-saving medicines during Covid requires payment in advance. In this case, it takes time to get repayment guarantee from the banks.
A payment of up to a maximum $5 lakh without such guarantee will help import goods arrive in the country faster and that will save the lives of many patients.
In this context, DrLelinChowdhury, Health and Hope Hospital in the capital, told The Business Standard if the import of drugs and medical equipment is increased in order to deal with corona, more lives will be saved.
Welcoming the extension of policy assistance in the case of imports, he said tax exemption should be given alongside extending the import facilities.
According to a central bank official, the Bangladesh Bank has extended the policy support till 30 June to give extra comfort to import trade.
It would help domestic industries and backward linkage industries to be comfortable for the upcoming time till it gets new normal, he added.