13 September 2014 Kathmandu – Thousands of Nepalese holding business profession with high income are still not allowed to use their credit or debit card as it was restricted by Nepal’s central bank in the name of Dollar export restriction.
Finally, Nepal’s central Bank, Nepal Rastra Bank has lifted the ban on online purchases worth below $2000 as per new directives.
According to the statement, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has for the first time allowed Nepalis earning in US dollar terms and those having US dollar accounts in banks to purchase goods online using debit/credit cards.
They can purchase goods not prohibited in the country worth $2,000 a year, according to a central bank circular.
“The new provision will ease purchasing goods from abroad online to consume within the country,” said Bhisma Raj Dhungana, acting executive director at NRB’s Foreign Exchange Management Department. He said those earning in US dollar terms could now make online purchases from home.
The provision has been put in place in line with the monetary policy. The policy talks about allowing online payments through debit/credit cards from Nepal and relaxing the provision of issuing such cards.
The facility, however, cannot be used for investing abroad, according to NRB. Banks can issue credit cards with limits up to $10,000 on condition the transactions are settled in foreign exchange terms. This will help people going abroad for visit/treatment purposes. Earlier, people would only get dollar credit card with limits up to $5,000.
If an individual earns in foreign currency terms, but does not have a US dollar account, can also obtain the dollar credit card. “But as settlements should be done in foreign exchange terms, those earning foreign exchange open dollar accounts anyway to ease the settlement process,” said another NRB official.
According to the directive, if a person has received approval to carry a certain amount of foreign exchange while travelling abroad, but has not spent all the money, s/he can adjust the expenditure made through credit cards.
While issuing credit cards, commercial and development banks have been asked to get a written commitment from the receivers that they would be ready to face action as per the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act if they fail abide by the conditions. As of Mid-June, commercial banks have issued 55,564 credit cards, while number of debit cards issued by banks and financial institutions stands at 3.97 million.
It is a good sign that trading online is a most essential part of new business trends around the world and it may help small companies to obtain their necessary purchase in no time as online transaction are almost real time activities and speed up the process of payment.