CHATTOGRAM, Apr 18: Banks decided on Wednesday to keep transactions open around the port area from 10 am to 10 pm on all days from next week.
In line with the government order to keep banking operations open round the clock to facilitate export and import, cargo delivery from the port and Customs assessment, the banks' executives took the decision.
The senior executives of all public and private commercial banks at Agrabad, Chittagong Port Authority and Chittagong Custom House areas said primarily they would keep transactions open for 12 hours on all seven days of the week.
But the decision for 24x7 banking transaction as per a circular issued from the Prime Minister's Office will be finalised by the top managements of the concerned banks in consultation with the government high-ups in Dhaka later.
The decision was taken at a meeting convened by Commissioner of Chittagong Customs House at the Customs House office in Chattogram.
Concerned sources said that the PMO issued a circular to run the port and customs activities smoothly to keep banking transactions open round the clock in the port city's Agrabad commercial area and areas adjoining the port and Customs office.
The letter with the directives reached all concerned quarters in the city early this week.
To take necessary steps in this regard the Customs House authority convened a meeting at the CCH at 11.00 am on Wednesday.
Zonal heads of all government and private commercial banks at Agrabad and the branches surrounding the Customs House and Port Authority, different stakeholders of Chittagong Port and Customs and senior officials of the port and Customs were present at the meeting. It was presided over by Commissioner of Chittagong Customs House AKM Moniruzzaman.
The zonal heads of commercial banks observed that the late night banking transactions involve security risks for banks and their customers. The businesspeople and their office staffs also do not attend Customs offices at dead of night.
They suggested that the banks can open a transaction booth of each bank in and around premises of Chittagong Port Authority and Chittagong Customs House for full time operational activities.
In that case, the banks will not suffer from any security concerns, they said.
In the meeting, the clearing and forwarding agents expressed concern at the disruption of the automation system at the Chittagong Customs House on Tuesday that caused a severe problem with submission of the bill of entries of importers.
They alleged that the importers and their customs clearance representatives could not submit documents for clearing import cargoes which also hampered the delivery of import cargoes from the port.
The Customs Commissioner said the disruption was caused due to frequent power outages on the day. He further said that the authority was going to solve the technical glitch in the server permanently in cooperation with the National Board of Revenue.