All exporters – including those exporting ready-made garments – from now on will get a maximum of 210 days – seven months – to bring export earnings into the country, says the Bangladesh Bank.
It says the new facility will remain in force till 31 March next year.
The Foreign Exchange Policy Department of the Bangladesh Bank issued a circular in this regard on Wednesday.
Due to disruptions to world trade caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the deadline for bringing in export income has been extended twice this year for exporters of ready-made garments and textiles.
According to foreign exchange regulations, exporters have 120 days – four months – to bring in export income to the country after shipping products.
Due to disruptions to global trade, the deadline for bringing in export earnings, only in the ready-made garments and textiles industries, was extended from 120 days to 180 days on 19 March. The facility was to remain in force till September this year.
Later, on 23 July, the deadline for the ready-made garments and textiles sectors was extended by another 30 days and the facility was extended till March 2021.
Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leathergoods and Footwear Exporters' Association Executive Member MA Awal told The Business Standard, "Like before, we are bringing in export income to the country in less than 120 days after the shipment of goods. We did not face much trouble during the pandemic."
He thinks many exporters in the leather sector will be able to avail this facility, if needed, as the central bank has extended the deadline.
Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director at the Centre for Policy Dialogue and head of the think tank's ready-made garments cell activities, said it does not take that long to bring in export earnings under normal circumstances.
"As the second wave of the pandemic has begun, it can be difficult to get new export orders and receive earnings on time," he said.
That is why, he thinks, extending the deadline is logical.
The researcher also thinks a balanced situation has been created now as the facility has been extended to all export products.
During July-October of the current financial year, growth in export income was less than 1%. In this period, the country received $12.84 billion in export earnings, which was $12.72 billion in the same period last year.
The target for export earnings for the fiscal year 2020-21 is set at $41 billion. In the last financial year, export income was $33.67 billion.