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Govt allows private traders to import rice to curb escalating prices

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12th-Jan-2021       
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Economic Reporter :
The Ministry of Food has allowed private traders to import 487,000 tonnes of rice to boost supply and cool prices in local markets.
The government has opened the opportunity for the private sector to import rice to bridle the escalating prices in the country. In a notice on Monday, 72 companies were authorised to import 141,000 tonnes of rice. The government previously allowed 64 companies to import 171,500 tonnes of rice. Also, the Ministry of Food approved 49 companies to import 174,500 tonnes of rice on Jan 6. In total, the private sector will import 487,000 tonnes of rice, says a report on bdnews24.com.
On Dec 27, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumdar announced a plan to slash the import duty on rice from 62.5 per cent to 25 per cent.
Interested companies should submit demand notes to the ministry seeking approval by Jan 10, said Food Secretary Nazmanara Khanum.
Besides the private sector, the government is importing 400,000 tonnes of rice to run food programmes amid the pandemic. Government warehouses have 531,000 tonnes of rice and 189,000 tonnes of wheat in stock, according to the Ministry of Food. The stock of rice has dropped to half, compared to the last year.
The retail prices of coarse grain rice crossed Tk 50 per kg, while the thin grain rice is sold for Tk 60-65 per kg. Big traders are blamed for the skyrocketing prices of rice.

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