Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The central bank has relaxed its rules allowing money changers to sell a maximum US$350 to a Hajj pilgrim this year, officials said on Thursday

Under the existing regulations each pilgrim, who will go to perform Hajj through both public and private agencies, can take a maximum US$ 350 or equivalent of other foreign currencies, if he wants.

“We’ve allowed the money changers, for the first time, to sale the foreign currencies to pilgrims that will help achieve their annual transactions limit, fixed by the central bank earlier” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

The money changers have long been allowed to sell foreign currencies only to travelers, he added.

The BB has already issued a circular in this connection and asked the commercial banks and all money changers to follow the instructions properly.

On June 1 last, the central bank re-fixed yearly transaction limit to US$350,000 from $500,000 earlier for the money changers, which are operating business across the country excepting Dhaka and Chittagong metropolitan areas.

However, the annual transactions limit of money changers, located in two metropolitan areas, remain unchanged at $500,000, the BB officials added.

“The money changers license will not be renewed for the next tenure if they fail to fulfill the yearly transactions limit,” another BB official said.

Besides, the BB may suspend the license of a money changer any time without showing any reason in case of violation of rules and regulations relating to foreign exchange transactions, according to a circular, issued earlier.

“The BB has amended the order for money changers aiming to ensure proper enforcement of such rules and regulations,” the BB official added.

Currently, 240 money changers are operating across the country.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-16October09-12:24 am (BST)