By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Dec. 22: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has tightened imports of some luxurious items to further discourage imports as rising imports have put pressure on foreign exchange reserves. In a circular issued on Monday, the central bank has made an arrangement to keep cash margin when opening LC (letter of credit) in banks for importing such items.
The NRB has introduced a provision to keep 100 per cent amount while importing goods with 19 types of harmonic codes, while importing items with one harmonic code can be done by keeping 50 per cent amount. The NRB has set a 100 per cent cash margin while open LC for the imports of sugar and chocolate, mineral water, liquor and vinegar, cigarettes and tobacco products, perfumes, cosmetics, wooden goods and accessories, shoes, sandals, umbrellas and sticks, cement, plaster and ceramics and other valuable items, including gold and silver.
Similarly, provision has been made to keep 50 per cent cash margin while opening LC to import vehicles other than electric. However, this does not apply to raw materials imported by industries for their own purposes. This provision will not be applicable in case of import for medicinal purposes, said NRB. In addition to cash, margin amount can be deposited by spending current, savings and call deposit accounts or using payment method. But no interest can be paid on the margin amount.
The NRB has said that no loan can be disbursed (even in domestic currency) for the purpose of depositing margin amount. Advance payment will not be available for import of the above mentioned items, said NRB.
The margin amount should be taken at the time of opening the letter of credit. Such margin amount can also be used while paying for import. The NRB said that this arrangement would not be made in the imports made by the bodies of the government of Nepal, diplomatic missions and hospitals.