July 1, 2022, 7:20 am

Staff Correspondent

2020-12-28 09:12:34 BdST

Govt cuts duty on rice import

The government has reduced the duty on rice import to 25 percent from existing 62.5 percent to encourage the private sector to procure the staple more from abroad in a bid to rein in its soaring prices.

Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder disclosed the decision at a virtual press conference organised on Sunday to spell out government’s steps to stabilise the volatile rice market.

Authorised private importers have been asked to apply to the Food Ministry with all necessary documents within January 10 next to this end, he said.

“The ministry will approve the import of a certain amount of rice in a controlled manner after scrutinising the applications,” he said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on December 24 gave approval to the rice import with a deduction in the import duty, the minister said.

The government is also going to purchase 400,000 tonnes of rice under government-to-government and open bidding systems, he said.

Prices of different varieties of rice increased 28.06 per cent on an average in Dhaka’s markets year on year although there are adequate stock and import of the staple, putting extra pressure on the people already hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Data of state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) from December 27 showed that the price of coarse rice increased by 47.69 percent while that of medium by 25.56 percent and the fine variety by 19.09 percent compared to the corresponding period of the last year.

Coarse rice was selling for Tk 46-50 from last year’s Tk 30-35 while medium variety at Tk 53-58 compared to Tk 40-50 and the fine one was selling at Tk 60-65 to Tk 45-60 the previous year, according to the TCB data.

Food Secretary Dr Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum and Director General of the Directorate General of Food Sarwar Mahmud, among others, spoke at the press conference.

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