As the country's rice market is yet to be stable, the government is again going to import another large amount of rice to curb the upward trend of rice price in the local market.
To arrest the rising trend in the rice market, the government this time has allowed 57 more individuals and non-governmental organizations to import 180,000 tonnes of rice.
With this the government is importing a total of 11,95,500 tonnes of rice to bring stability in rice price.
Earlier, the food ministry had allowed 320 individuals and organizations to import 1,014,500 tonnes of rice on various conditions.
The letter of permission was sent from the Ministry of Food to the Secretary of the Commerce Ministry on Monday.
The letter of the food ministry said conditional import of non-basmati rice with a maximum of 5 per cent broken grains was allowed on condition.
Meanwhile, the food ministry has cancelled the rice import permits of those who have failed to open LCs by February 15.
The ministry has also extended the time till March 15 for those importers who have imported rice but have not marketed their rice.
It is learnt that the Ministry of Food has extended the deadline for opening LCs for import of rice allotted to 320 companies for private import till February 15.
It is also learnt that the Ministry of Food has asked the legal importers to apply to the Ministry of Food by January 10 with all the required documents for private import of rice on December 26.
Since then, a total of 320 individuals / institutions at the private level have been allowed to import 1014500 tonnes of rice on various conditions. The letter of permission was sent to commerce ministry.
In terms of rice imports, the letter of credit (LC) must be opened within seven days of the issuance of the allotment. The Ministry of Food should be informed about this immediately by e-mail. Among the traders who have been allotted one to 5,000 tonnes, they have to market 50 percent of the rice within 10 days of opening the LC and the rest within 20 days.
Besides, the food ministry has stipulated that those companies which have been allotted more than 5,000 tonnes of rice have to import 50 per cent rice within 15 days of opening their LCs and the remaining 50 per cent within 30 days.
At this time the price of coarse rice has reached Tk 50 per kg in the aman season for which common people suffer the most.
In this situation, the government took initiative to import rice in a controlled manner by reducing duty on rice import. Besides, the government has reduced the import duty on rice from 62.50 per cent to 25 per cent at the private level to curb the rising trend of foodgrains, help the low-income population and keep the market stable.