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Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban

Parliament passes ‘Offshore Banking Act, 2024’

Offshore Banking Act- 2024 has been placed in the parliament in a bid to enhance the reserves of foreign currency and attract foreign investment.

Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali moved the bill in the House, which was passed by voice vote with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

While placing the bill, the finance minister said as per the proposed law, non-resident individuals or foreign firms, who will invest in Bangladesh, can open offshore bank accounts.

“A license from Bangladesh Bank is required for offshore banking,” he said.

The offshore banking operations can be run with the five currencies - US Dollar, Pound, Euro, Japanese Yen and Chinese Yen.

Any relative of a Bangladeshi living abroad can open an account and manage the account as a supporter.

Now foreigners, who deposit money in the internal banking system of Bangladesh, need permission to remit the money from the country. But in the case of offshore banking, they can do it freely.

“We hope that those who will benefit from doing business in Bangladesh will deposit their money in the account,” said the finance minister.

The draft of the law said the move to offshore banking will increase reserves as well as ensure financial benefit.

If someone keeps money in that offshore account, no one will ask about the sources of the money, it said.

Individuals who are living abroad or firms operating abroad will be allowed to open bank accounts under the proposed law.

Opposing the enactment of the law, Jatiya party chief whip Mujibul Huq said, “The government should clarify the advantages and disadvantages of the law, as most of the lawmakers have no adequate knowledge about the usefulness of the law.”