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Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The central bank of Bangladesh has finalised a guideline for appointing authorised gold dealers (AGDs) to import gold bars directly, officials said.

Under the guideline, authorised dealer (AD) banks or individually-owned firms, or joint ventures or limited companies will be eligible to apply to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) for becoming ADGs.

Talking to the BBN, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said the interested business entities may collect application form from the central bank, paying BDT 0.5 million as fee.

The required capital for ADG has been fixed at BDT 10 million each, and the interested parties are allowed to submit their applications to the central bank by September 30, the BB official added.

“We’re going to issue circular in this connection shortly,” another central banker noted.

The cabinet earlier approved the first-ever gold policy to facilitate import and export of the precious metal, stop its smuggling, and ensure transparency in its trade.

However, the manufacturers of ornaments will not be able to buy gold from others, apart from the ADGs, according to a gazette notification, issued by the government earlier.

The ADGs will be allowed to import gold through bonds, but for that they will have to get bond licences from the authority concerned.

But the ADGs will also have to inform the central bank about their requirement of foreign currency and have to obtain no-objection certificate (NOC) from the BB.

The central bank will issue NOC within 15 days upon receiving an application, it added.

Bangladesh’s annual demand for gold is between 20 and 40 tonnes. Almost 80 per cent of it is met with smuggled gold, and the rest with recycled gold, according to the officials.

This deprives the government of a huge amount of revenue and also creates scopes for money laundering and accumulation of black money, they added.

The existing rules allow import of gold, subject to permission from the central bank. But in reality, gold has never been imported through legal channels since independence.