Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The central bank of Bangladesh has advised the commercial banks to encourage importers for opening fresh letters of credit (LCs) for five essential items to ensure smooth supply of those during the holy month of Ramadan.
“We’ve taken the measure to help ensure smooth supply of the essentials in the local market before and during the holy month of Ramadan,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka.
The items are edible oil, gram, onion, date and sugar, said the officials.
“The BB expects that imports of some essentials including sugar, edible oil, onion, pulses and dates are likely to increase in the coming months due mainly to the Holy Ramadan,” the central banker said.
Normally, a large quantity of essential commodities is imported to meet the additional demand of consumers during the month.  
“We’ve asked the banks to charge rational interest on essentials import financing,” the central banker said, adding that the BB earlier withdrew the lending rate ceiling at maximum 12 per cent on import financing for eight essential food items.
The BB’s latest move came amid declining trend of the country’s overall import payments in the month of April.
Opening of LCs for import came down by 7.49 per cent in April over the previous month while the settlement of overall LCs, generally known as actual imports, also dropped by over 6.0 per cent, the BB data showed.
BBN/SSR/AD-14May12-8:50 am (BST)