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Bank & Finance - December 17, 2023

Loan payment pressure to be increased in 2024

Mahfuz Emran: The due date for repayment of short-term loans taken against imports of essential goods has been extended by another six months. These outstanding loans were to be paid by December 31. Entrepreneurs are unable to pay these outstanding loans due to financial and dollar crisis. Due to this, the central bank has extended the loan repayment period till June 30.
Bangladesh Bank issued a circular in this regard on Thursday and sent it to the chief executives of commercial banks. It has been instructed to inform the concerned customers of the bank immediately.
Sources said that all loans taken against imports are short-term. Extending the repayment period will increase the overall debt status. At the same time additional interest has to be paid against it. As a result, the money has to be paid. This will put additional pressure on the dollar.
According to the circular, additional time will be available for loan repayment in the case of LCs opened for import of raw materials, chemical fertilizers and agricultural materials for industrial raw materials under back-to-back LCs under buyers’ credit or buyer’s credit, suppliers’ credit or supply credit. Many entrepreneurs are not able to pay the loans against the import of goods in these sectors which were to be paid by December 31. The repayment period of those short-term loans has been extended by another six months till June 30 next year. However, this additional time will not be available for repayment of back to back LCs opened for loans taken from the Export Development Fund. These amounts must be paid within the stipulated time.
According to sources, it is not possible to repay those short-term loans on time due to liquidity crisis among entrepreneurs due to global recession, export bills not arriving in the country on time and dollar crisis. Due to this, the repayment period has been extended by six months. However, the repayment period will be at a single time per customer. But it has to be paid by June 30.

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