Hili (Dinajpur), Jan 10 – Trucks carrying 112 metric tonnes of rice from India entered into Bangladesh through the Hili land port on Saturday afternoon.
Consumers say they hope the rice import would help to bring down prices in the local market.
Rice import from India through Hili remained suspended since May 30, 2019.
A number of traders said the government recently decided to import rice from India following the soaring price of the commodity in the local market.
On January 3 and 5, the government approved 29 importers for importing rice from the neighbouring country. Two importers from Hili port got approval to bring 20,000MT rice.
The first consignment of rice imported by Naogaon-based M/s Jagodish Chandra Roy entered the country on Saturday afternoon.
Sripodo Roy, a representative of the trader, said they had opened our LC for bringing 10,000MT rice from India and 112MT rice entered in the first phase.
Harun-ur-Rashid, President of the export-import group of Hili land port, said: “Per MT rice costs $356, which means per kg costs Tk 29-30. But after adding the revenue, the price of each kg rice goes up to Tk 34.”
Sohrab Hossain Mallik, Public Relations Officer of Panama Hili Port Link Limited, said three trucks loaded with imported rice entered the warehouse of the port on Saturday afternoon.
Govt to import more rice
The government is going to purchase 500,000-600,000MT rice, Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque said on December 27.
Already, the import duty has been slashed to 25 percent from 62.5 percent in an effort to keep the rice market stable, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said.
The legal private importers have been asked to apply to the Food Ministry with all necessary documents within Sunday (January 10).
“The ministry will give approval for importing a certain amount of rice after scrutinising the applications,” said the Minister.
Rice prices go up in Dhaka
Rice prices in Dhaka have increased by 28.06 percent over the past year despite adequate reserve and import of the staple, putting extra pressure on the people hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Data of the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) from December 22 showed that the price of coarse rice increased by 47.69 percent per kg while that of medium 23.33 percent and the fine variety 17.14 percent compared to the previous year.
Each kg coarse rice price rose to Tk46-50 from Tk30-35 compared to the previous year while that of the medium variety went up to Tk53-58 from Tk40-50 and the fine one increased to Tk58-65 from Tk45-60, the TCB data showed. – UNB