Money changers will be able to renew their licences for the second consecutive year this time without having met the business target set by Bangladesh Bank.
For licence renewal, money changers operating in Dhaka and Chattogram city corporations have to trade foreign currencies amounting to at least $500,000 a year. The limit is $350,000 for currency converters working in other parts of the country.
The foreign exchange department of the central bank issued a circular on Sunday, allowing the aberration in the context of the pandemic.
At present, 235 money changers are registered with the Bangladesh Bank. They have to renew their licences every year. Those in the capital have to submit a renewal application to the general manager of the foreign exchange operation department of the BB. And the organisations outside Dhaka have to apply to the regional offices of the BB.
Former president of Money Changers Association Mostafa Khan said the BB's decision would help money changers to some extent.
Before the pandemic in February last year, their business fell, so the BB needs to take some steps to create a business-friendly environment for them, he said.
Amid the pandemic, business of money changers collapsed. They are borrowing money to pay office rents, so they do not lose their licences, but they have not received any support from the central bank, Mostafa said.
The central bank is not meeting the demands of money changers. On the other hand, those involved in illegal "hundi" business are not facing any action, causing an unfair competition for the "real businessmen", Mostafa added.
He requested the authority to accept the demand for an extension of the dollar endorsement limit.
Mostafa said money changers wanted the permission to endorse $3,000 against each passport, just like banks. One cannot buy more than $1,000 against each passport and the limit should be extended too, he said.
A tourist can carry a maximum of Tk10,000 without permission from the BB while travelling in and out of the country, Mostafa said, adding that if the provision remained in place, money changers would have no business.
The limit should be lowered to $5,000, he said.