Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has relaxed regulations on issuance of Umrah Hajj guarantees in foreign currency, officials said.

Under the relaxations, the banks have been empowered to issue maximum guarantees of 100,000 Saudi Riyal on behalf of their clients in favour of official Umrah service providers or agents in KSA without prior approval of the Bangladesh Bank (BB).

The central bank issued a circular in this connection on Monday and asked the commercial banks to follow such relaxation on issuance of Umrah Hajj guarantees in foreign currency.

“Applicant agents shall have up to date licences from the Ministry of Religious Affairs as Umrah agents. They shall also have valid licences from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism as travel agents and valid Accreditation Certificate from International Air Transport Association,” the BB circular said.

“It’s a non-funded facility, required by Umrah service providers of the KSA as security,” a BB official said, adding that the banks will obtain agreements signed between Bangladeshi bonafide Umrah agents and official Umrah service agents of KSA.

The past performance of applicant agents should be considered to be satisfactory by the banks, he added.

BBN/SSR/AD-14Jan14-10:47 pm (BST)