Dhaka to import 1 lakh tonnes rice from Myanmar
Bangladesh has decided to import rice from Myanmar in face of instability in the market of the prime staple and in the backdrop of Rohingya crisis.
A decision to import 1 lakh metric tonnes of white rice has been taken up, food ministry officials told The Daily Star today on condition of anonymity.
The purchase will be made at USD 442 per tonne. The decision came following a meeting between a delegation of Myanmar and the food ministry last night.
Last month, Bangladesh faced a bout of instability in the rice market. The government was compelled to encourage exports from neighbouring countries.
Import duty on rice was brought down to two percent from the preceding 20 percent. But less than a month into such move, the price of rice has soared up again.
The government again stepped in and started the sale of subsidised rice under its open market sale programme from this week – selling Tk 30 per kg, Tk 20 less from that in the market.
Also, the decision to import rice from Myanmar comes in the backdrop of Rohingya crisis – the latest refugee toll pouring into Bangladesh rising to over 412,000.
Myanmar currently faces international condemnation for carrying out atrocities against the Rohingyas. Bangladesh is pressuring Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas.
Police chief warns hoarders
Bangaldesh’s police chief AKM Shahidul Hoque has warned strongly against rice hoarding.
He said police will take action against those found hoarding rice in a bid to create artificial crisis in the country. “On-field policemen have already been directed in this regard.”
The inspector general of police (IGP) repeated the warning at a press conference in police headquarters today following repeated warning of the government against hoarders.