Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh is going to impose charge on clearing cheque and electronic fund transfer (EFT) from January 1, 2013 aiming to ensure sustainability of the modern payment system, officials said.
Under the new provision, the commercial banks are allowed to charge maximum BDT 50 with value added tax (VAT) to their clients for clearing each high-value cheque, while maximum BDT 7.0 with VAT for each regular-value cheque. 
High-value means any bank cheque amounting to BDT 500,000 and above, if cleared on the same day through the Bangladesh Automated Clearing House (BACH).
Besides, the banks are empowered to charge maximum BDT 7.0 with VAT to their clients for clearing EFT.
The banks will have to pay maximum BDT 25 with VAT to the central bank for each high-value cheque and maximum BDT 5.0 with VAT for regular-value cheque and EFT, according to the directive.
 “We’ve imposed the charge to recover a portion of the operational and maintaining costs of the system,” Das Gupta Asim Kumar, s senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.
He also said the central bank is spending around BDT 250 million each year as maintenance and operational costs for ensuring uninterrupted function of the BACH.
 “As per our estimation, 60-70 per cent of the operational cost of the system would be recovered through the charges. The central bank will have to bear the rest of the cost,” the central banker said, adding that India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and some other countries are also recovering their respective operational cost through imposing such charge on the bank clients.
The BACH, the automated payment system platform, has two components – the first one is the Bangladesh Automated Cheque Processing System (BACPS) and the second one is the Bangladesh Electronic Fund Transfer Network (BEFTN).
“We’ve been providing world-class service for clearing cheque and EFT for the last two years using these two components,” another BB official said, adding that such fund transfer system helps local businesses and individuals.
BBN/SSR/AD-13Nov12-10:20 pm (BST)