125 firms to import 2.5 lakh tonnes of rice
The government has permitted 125 companies to import a total of 246,000 tonnes of rice in order to cool down the domestic market for the staple grain in Bangladesh.
The fresh decision came just four days after it allowed 95 other food companies to import 409,000 tonnes of rice.
The firms have been asked to bring the rice – 204,000 tonnes of non-basmati boiled rice and 42,000 tonnes of non-boiled atap rice -- by August 17, according to a food ministry notice issued on Monday.
The companies were asked to open the letters of credit (LCs) by July 25. If they fail to comply, the import permissions would be cancelled, it said.
The importers have been asked to inform the district food offices about how much rice is to be imported, sold and stored.
Traders will have to sell the rice in the same bag that would be used to import the grain, said the food ministry.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) cut the duty on rice imported between June 22 and October 31 to 25.75 per cent from 62.5 per cent to facilitate the purchase of the cereal from international markets as prices have risen in the local market.
Fine rice is being sold for between Tk 64 and Tk 80 per kg in the kitchen markets in Dhaka today. The prices were up 7.46 per cent from a month ago, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Prices of coarse rice remained unchanged in the past one month, TCB data showed.
In order to avail the tax waiver, importers will have to take permissions from the food ministry for every shipment, according to the NBR.