The Bangladesh Bank (BB) asked the commercial banks Thursday to rationalise credit disbursements and import payments to facilitate unhindered growth of the country's real sector.
The directives came at a bankers' meeting held at the conference hall of the central bank with the Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Salehuddin Ahmed in the chair.
The commercial bank move came against the backdrop of increasing trend of domestic credit, particularly credit to the private sector, and import payments during the first quarter of the current fiscal, official sources said.
Besides, the central bank directed all concerned to increase the flow of remittances to help ease the pressure in the inter-bank foreign exchange market.
The steps will also help implement the existing Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the sources added.
Credit to private sector has marked a significant rise by 3.40 per cent July-September period of the current fiscal.
Meanwhile, the country's import payments crossed US$ 4.0 billion during the first four months of the current fiscal, registering a 5.02 per cent growth over the same period last fiscal.
The import payments were worth US$ 4.26 billion in the July-October period of the fiscal 2005-2006 against $4.06 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, sources in the central bank said.
During the meeting, the central bank high-ups advised the bankers to step up drive for mobilising bank deposits to match the existing credit growth.
"The bankers should play pro-active roles to create employment opportunity in the country for poverty alleviation," BB Governor Salehuddin Ahmed told the FE after the meeting.
He also said the bankers will have to shoulder 'social responsibility' along with their business.
Besides, the BB governor asked the bankers for taking measures to comply with the existing single borrower exposure limit rules for avoiding any financial risks.
Earlier, the central bank asked the banks to submit statements of large loans on a monthly basis, instead of doing it once in a quarter, thus reducing the time limit to strictly monitor such loan portfolios.
Regarding foreign exchange market, the BB governor said the forex market that has been passing through a volatile situation would become normal shortly.
At the same meeting, bankers voiced concern over raising the level of general provisioning requirements for consumer financing by the commercial banks.
They urged the BB governor to review the matter to protect the interest of the banks.
The bankers also felt that the interest rates on lending might increase further mainly due to the hike in the rates of return on government savings schemes.