The central bank yesterday cut the interest rate on its export development fund (EDF) in order to help the exporters hit hard by the economic fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic.
The exporters of the manufacturing sector will enjoy loans at 2 per cent interest from the EDF, according to a Bangladesh Bank notice.
Previously, the interest rate was six-month USD LIBOR plus 1.50 per cent. The six-month LIBOR rate is 1.17 per cent at present.
Lenders will get the fund from the central bank by giving 1 per cent interest rate and they will be allowed to charge clients a maximum of 2 per cent.
The BB also increased the volume of the EDF to $5 billion from the previous $3.50 billion, as part of the government's efforts to prime the pump.
The instructions will be effective from April 1.
The initiative will help the beleaguered exporters from the manufacturing sector get funds at a cheaper rate, said a BB official requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak with the media.
In a separate notice, the BB instructed banks and mobile financial service providers to open accounts for workers of the export-oriented industries within April 20 for their salary disbursement from the Tk 5,000 crore bailout package announced by the prime minister on March 25.
The package is to facilitate exporters, who all on a sudden find themselves with acute cash crunch, pay their workers' wages for three months starting from April.
The wages will be provided to the workers' bank or MFS accounts.
No charge will be imposed on the workers for opening the accounts.
Banks and MFS providers have so far opened 20 lakh accounts for workers of the garment sector, according to the central bank data.
The total number of workers in the country's export-oriented industries is more than 5 million.
Banks and MFS providers have already informed the central bank that they have the capacity to open accounts for the workers within the deadline, the BB official added.