KATHMANDU, Dec 3: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has removed the mandatory cash margin provision on imports of a number of construction materials while opening letter of credit (LC) by importers.
Amending the unified directives, the NRB has turned flexible on imports of interior items used in construction of buildings. Importers now will not have to keep a cash margin while importing tiles, marble, granite, slate, stones, ceramics, bitumen, bricks and different types of roofing items.
Likewise, the central bank has also eased this provision for the goods used for public construction. The threshold has been removed also for imported seats to be used in airplanes and stadiums.
After the country started feeling the heat of depleting foreign currency reserves, the NRB last year asked importers to maintain a 50 to 100 percent cash margin on the imports of goods that fall under 47 harmonic codes. With the rule in place, the central bank has been making the importers of these goods deposit hard cash in advance before importing them. The goods mainly included luxury items along with a number of materials used for interior decoration.
Gunakar Bhatta, spokesperson for NRB, said the central bank has adopted a policy to loosen restrictions on imports with an improvement in external sector indicators.