Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The central bank of Bangladesh has revised charges on clearing cheques by lifting charges on cheques amounting to below BDT 50,000 to facilitate the country’s marginal income people, officials said on Thursday.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, has also withdrawn charges on electronic fund transfer (EFT) and all government receipts and payment to individuals.
Under the revised provision, the commercial banks are allowed to charge BDT 10 including value added tax (VAT) from their clients for clearing each cheque amounting between BDT 50,000 and below BDT 500,000.
Of the amount of BDT 10, the banks will have to pay BDT 8.00 to the central bank and the rest BDT 2.00 will be received by the banks.
The banks are also allowed to charge maximum BDT 60 including VAT from their clients for clearing each high-value cheque, while maximum BDT 25 including VAT for each regular-value cheque.
Of the BDT 60, the banks will get BDT 10, while the BB will get BDT 50. Of the BDT 25, the banks will get BDT 5.0 while the central bank will receive BDT 20.
High-value means any bank cheque amounting to Tk 500,000 and above, if cleared on the same day through Bangladesh Automated Clearing House (BACH).
The revised charges on clearing cheques will come into effect from March 2013 in line with BB’s directive, issued on Thursday.
The central bank has taken the latest move against the backdrop of widespread criticism by different quarters for imposing charges on clearing cheques and EFT of any amount.
“The central bank has revised the charges on clearing cheques considering public opinions,” Das Gupta Asim Kumar, executive director of Bangladesh Bank (BB), told BBN in Dhaka, adding that around 75 per cent of cheques would go out of the purview of charges.
He also said the central bank would have to spend around BDT 250 million each year as maintenance and operational costs for ensuring uninterrupted function of the BACH.
The banks earlier charged their clients maximum BDT 50 with VAT for clearing each high-value cheque, while maximum BDT 7.0 with VAT for each regular-value cheque.
Besides, the banks charged their clients maximum Tk 7.0 with VAT for clearing EFT. They were allowed to impose 15 per cent of VAT as indirect tax on the services.
Earlier on November 13, the BB imposed the charges on clearing cheques and EFT to recover a portion of the operational and maintenance costs of the BACH system.
The BACH, an automated payment system platform, has two components — the Bangladesh Automated Cheque Processing System (BACPS), and the Bangladesh Electronic Fund Transfer Network (BEFTN).
BBN/SSR/AD-01Mar13-10:01 am (BST)