The food ministry has conditionally allowed 95 importers to import 409,000 tonnes of rice from India.
The permission was given in a letter signed by food ministry senior assistant secretary of the foreign procurement branch Mohammad Mahabubur Rahman and additional secretary Mujibur Rahman on Thursday.
As per the terms of the letter, it has been directed to open LC for rice import by July 21 and end the marketing of imported rice in the country by August 11. Among the imported rice, there are 379000 tonnes of boiled rice and 30,000 metric tonnes of Atap rice.
The letter also warned that if the businessmen failed to open LC or import rice in time, the permission of those traders to import rice would be revoked.
Rice import from India remained suspended since August 31 last year due to a ban imposed by the Bangladesh government to ensure a fair market price for rice produced in the country. At present, the government has allowed the import of rice to curb the rising rice market due to floods in various parts of the country.
Meanwhile, Miniket rice is being sold at Tk 56 per kg and Swarna rice at Tk 46 per kg in the retail market. Rice traders informed that rice import and marketing would start within this month. If the supply increases, price of rice will come down a bit.
Benapole Port Deputy Director (Administration) Abdul Jalil informed the media that the import of rice from India through Benapole Port is stopped at present. However, if rice import starts necessary steps would be taken to unload rice at a faster pace.