Introduction of the Offshore Banking Bill in the National Parliament

For the first time in the country, a bill has been raised in the National Assembly to enact offshore banking laws.

On Saturday (March 2), Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmud Ali introduced the ‘Offshore Banking Bill-2024’ in the Parliament meeting. Later, the bill was sent to the parliamentary committee related to the finance ministry for examination and a report within a day. Speaker before this. The meeting of Parliament started under the chairmanship of Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury.According to the proposed bill, offshore banking means offshore and 100% foreign-owned institutions operating in approved specialized areas and funds received in foreign currency from Bangladesh Bank-approved sources in foreign currency under the conditions specified in this Act, as per instructions issued by Bangladesh Bank, from time to time, to non-residents or, as the case may be, residents of Bangladesh. Banking operations are conducted with individualsAccording to the bill, export processing zones, private export processing zones, economic zones, and hi-tech parks will be able to take deposits from 100% foreign-owned companies. Besides, the offshore banking units can provide their short-term loans and advances or investments, providing loan and guarantee facilities, bill discounting, bill negotiating, and other external transaction services related to foreign trade. According to the bill, offshore banking units can take deposits and loans from non-resident Bangladeshis, foreign individuals, and institutions..According to the bill, the relevant Scheduled Bank Board should have approved policies in light of the guidelines given by Bangladesh Bank for conducting offshore banking activities. Scheduled banks have to maintain separate accounts for their offshore operations. Funds can be transferred from domestic banking units to offshore banking units with the special approval of the Bangladesh Bank.