Only authorised dealers can import gold jewellery: BB
Only authorised gold dealers (AGD) will be able to import gold jewellery, said Bangladesh Bank yesterday, dispelling confusions among banks.
As per the Gold Policy 2018, the AGDs can import both gold bars and jewellery, the central bank said in a notice.
But banks faced confusions as many unauthorised entities have recently tried to import the bullion. Now, banks won't be able to allow unauthorised entities to import gold.
The central bank appoints the AGDs. The dealers could be an authorised bank or an individual-owned firm, or a joint venture or a limited company.
Eighteen entities and one bank have so far been granted approvals to act as the AGDs, a Bangladesh Bank official said.
As much as 25 kilogrammes of gold have been imported through two shipments since the introduction of the policy.
The AGDs need to take prior approval from the central bank for each shipment. The BB has stopped permitting the AGDs to import gold for the time being as it has sought the opinion of the commerce ministry on the pre and post-shipment inspections of the precious metal.
The importers will be allowed to import gold soon after the BB receives the opinion, the central banker said. According to commerce ministry documents, Bangladesh's annual demand for gold is between 20 tonnes and 40 tonnes and almost 80 per cent of it is met by smuggled gold and the rest by recycled gold.
This deprives the government of a huge amount of revenue and creates scope for money laundering and accumulation of black money, prompting the government to come up with the policy in 2018.
Before the policy came into force, importers could bring in gold subject to permission from the BB. But in reality, gold had never been imported through legal channels since Bangladesh gained independence in 1971.
Between 1971 and 2015, some 2.2 tonnes of seized illegal gold worth $90 million had been added to the foreign currency reserves.