National, Front Page

Plan to import 3 lakh tonnes of crude edible salt

Published : 14 Nov 2021 10:38 PM

The government is considering to allow import of over 0.31 million tonnes of crude edible salt to meet the shortfall in local production.

Sources said here the country has shortfall of some 0.21 million tonnes of salt against its annual demand of crude salt for the current fiscal year. 

Recently the industries ministry sent a letter to commerce ministry requesting it to take steps allowing 222 factories to import such salt, said officials.

"If steps are not taken timely to import edible salt the country will face crisis of this essential item that may increase its price in the market," said an official of industries ministry.

The country currently has a stock of over 0.61 million tonnes of salt - over 0.456 million tonnes at the field level and 0.16 million tonnes at the mill level.

“The commerce ministry should allow salt import this year as there is an insufficient stock of salt in the country," said a high official of the industries ministry.

The commerce ministry sources said they have received a proposal on import of crude salt.

According to a technical committee on National Salt Policy-2020, the country requires 2.31 million tonnes of crude salt for the current fiscal year. It was 2.21 million tonnes in the fiscal year 2020-21.

As per the technical committee's estimation, around 0.316 million tonnes of crude salt is needed to import against the shortage.

Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) recently sent a list of 222 active salt factories to its parent ministry to take steps in this regard.

Moheshkhali upazila of Cox's Bazar is the country's biggest salt producing area that supplies largest portion of domestic demand. The domestic annual demand of salt is over 1.65 million tonnes at present.

Generally, the BSCIC fixes the demand for salt, with a 10 per cent annual growth commensurate with the growing population.

Bangladesh imported 0.25 million tonnes and 0.5 million tonnes of crude salt in 2016 and 2017, respectively, in an attempt to stabilise the local market.

Earlier, the import of edible salt is banned in Bangladesh as per the National Salt Policy-2016 and the Import Policy Order. 

The government only allows the import of industrial salt as raw material for use in industries.