Govt floats tender to import 50,000 tonnes rice
The government has floated a tender to buy 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice from international markets to increase stocks and rein in the soaring prices of the staple in domestic markets, according to a notification from the Directorate of Food.
This was the third tender floated by the food office in the last one month.
The government previously approved two previous tenders to buy 100,000 tonnes of rice from two Indian suppliers.
The move comes at a time when the price of rice is soaring due to a shortage in public warehouses that stems from sluggish procurement during the current Aman harvesting season.
Since the beginning of the procurement period for paddy and rice this year, the Directorate of Food could procure just 115 tonnes of paddy and 5,900 tonnes of rice from farmers and millers as of December 10.
The amount of paddy and rice purchased was no more than 1 per cent of the targets for this year.
This resulted in the gain shortage at state go-downs.
As of December 10, rice and wheat stocks stood at 7.7 lakh tonnes, down 44 per cent year-on-year from 13.85 lakh tonnes.
Sarwar Mahmud, director-general of the Directorate of Food, said his office plans to buy more rice.
"We are also going to float a tender to buy 100,000 tonnes of wheat from the international market," he added.
The government imported 2.15 lakh tonnes of wheat between July 1 and December 10 this fiscal year. The amount purchased was 59 per cent of the government's total rice import in fiscal 2019-20 when it was 3.67 lakh tonnes.