Govt to set up 6 rice mills with drying, storage units
The government has taken up an initiative to set up six composite rice mills along with drying and storage facilities under public-private partnership (PPP) in the country's southern region.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs chaired by Finance Secretary AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday gave approval to the proposal.
Food Secretary Dr Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum told The Daily Star that the mills would be set up in Faridpur, Barishal, Jhalkathi, Bhola, Naogaon and Sylhet districts, each with a storage capacity of 28,000 tonnes of rice.
Each will have a milling capacity of 16 tonnes per hour, she said.
Khanum said the project would be implemented on a PPP basis and lots of discussions have been carried out about it in the meeting.
The government will seek private investors to finance the project and the government will provide just the land, she said. This is because government-owned projects tend to not run for long and get shut down, such as those of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, she added.
Khanum said there was no government-owned rice mill in the country and these were the first ones of their kind.
The number of rice mills in the southern districts is next to nothing, for which the government has to pay around Tk 900 for the transportation of every tonne of rice, she said.
If there are rice mills present, the transportation cost of the government will be reduced, she said.
The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved eight proposals worth Tk 16,271.48 crore, including five of the industries ministry and one each of the agriculture ministry, power ministry and road transport and highways division.
The cabinet committee on purchase also approved the purchase of 75,000 tonnes of urea fertiliser through a government-to-government arrangement from Saudi Arabia at a cost of Tk 168.20 crore ($264 per tonne).
A local agent of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, will import the fertiliser.
The committee also approved purchase of 25,000 tonnes of rice at a cost of around Tk 66.83 crore ($300.71 per tonne) from Singapore through a local agent, Poton Traders.
The committee also approved purchase of another 25,000 tonnes of fertiliser from Singapore at a cost of Tk 66.86 crore ($314.85 per tonne) from Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprise Pte.
It also approved purchase of 1.80 lakh tonnes of potassium chloride fertiliser at a cost of Tk 341.37 crore ($314.85 per tonne) from Russia through a local agent under a government-to-government arrangement.