BB to return to biannual monetary policy
The central bank is set to return to its semiannual monetary policy stance after three years as per a suggestion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but local economists say the move would not bring about any change amid the lending rate cap and multiple exchange rates. In the fiscal year of 2019-2020, the central bank moved away from a twice-a-year policy statement to an annual statement that was practised for the previous two decades. Thus, it began coming up with the policy in July alone.In November, a delegation from the IMF, during its talks with the government over the latter’s $4.5 billion loan plan, called for unveiling the monetary policy on a quarterly basis since the economic situation is changing frequently, at home and abroad.Accordingly, the Bangladesh Bank has begun its preparation and is holding discussions with stakeholders, including economic think tanks.But economists say the return to the twice-a-year monetary policy would not yield any benefit amid the 9 per cent interest rate cap on loans and the multiple exchange rates.
BB relaxes LC requirements for Ramadan commodities
The central bank has asked banks to take a minimum cash advance from importers while opening letters of credit (LCs) for essential commodities as it looks to keep their prices at a tolerable level during Ramadan and ensure smooth supply.The advance payment, also known as the cash LC margin, should be kept at the minimum level depending on the bank-client relationship, said the Bangladesh Bank in a notice yesterday.The directive comes a week after the commerce ministry suggested the central bank form a crisis management cell to facilitate the opening of LCs for essential commodities imported in the run-up to Ramadan when the demand for a number of basic items surges.Importers of eight items – edible oil, gram, lentil, onion, sugar, peas, spices and dates – will be extended the import facility with a minimum LC margin.
Bangladesh top in global ship recycling again
Bangladesh has once again become the top ship recycling country with more than half of the world’s ships recycled here, according to a report of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad). In the 12 months to January 2022, Bangladesh recycled 8.02 million tonnage of ships accounting for 52.4% of the world total, of which nearly 57% were oil tankers, 25% bulk carriers and 9% liquefied gas carriers, said the report titled “Review of Maritime Transport 2022” published on 29 November.At the same period of the previous year, around 54% of the world’s oil tankers, 18.4% of bulk carriers and about 5% of liquefied gas carriers were recycled in Bangladesh, reads the annual flagship report.In 2021, Bangladesh with Pakistan, India, and Türkiye, accounted for 96% of the world’s ship recycling.