The Bangladesh Bank on Wednesday extended the banking transaction period to four hours for the extended period of movement restrictions ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festivals of Muslims.
On Wednesday, the government extended the movement restrictions till May 16 with a view to containing the spread of Covid cases and deaths.
In line with the government’s move, the central bank extended the banking hours till May 16, setting the transaction time from 10:00am to 2:00pm on working days, excluding government holidays.
The banks have been providing services for three hours since April 14 when fresh movement restrictions came into effect amid a surge in Covid cases this year.
A BB official said that the central bank had extended the banking transaction time by one hour keeping in mind that the banks would have to handle additional pressure ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
A BB circular issued in this regard on Wednesday also barred bank officials from leaving their respective workstations during the extended period of restrictions.
It also asked the banks to keep their bank branches in Dhaka, Ashulia, Tongi, Gazipur, Savar, Bhaluka, Narayanganj and Chattogram associated with the apparel industries and the respective branches of the head offices functional from May 10 to May 13 if Eid-ul-Fitr is observed on May 14.
The banks were asked to keep these branches open with a view to facilitating salary, festival bonus and other allowance payments for apparel industry workers, the BB circular said.
The central bank also mentioned that previous instructions issued on April 13 related to provision of services to customers would remain valid.
Under the BB’s instruction, the banks will have to facilitate all sorts of deposits and withdrawals, issuance and deposit of demand drafts or pay orders, treasury challan, government’s payments against social safety net programmes, payments of foreign remittance, domestic and interbank fund transfers, encashment or interest payments against NRB bond and different national saving certificates, utility payments and transactions through the BB’s payment or clearing systems.
In another circular, the BB allowed non-bank financial institutions to provide services to their customers for four hours on working days from May 6 to May 16, except for government holidays.
The NBFI officials were also barred from leaving their workstations during the period.
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday also extended the trading hours of the stock exchanges by one hour, a BSEC statement said.
Trading on the bourses will continue from 10:00am to 1:30pm from today instead of 10:00am to 12:30pm, it said.
The regulator made the decision as banking transaction time was extended to 2:00pm from May 6 to May 16, it said.
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