The total amount of rice will be imported at a cost of Tk 377.65 crore – each ton costing $455 or Tk37, 487. The government has decided to import 100,000 tons of boiled rice from India to meet the growing domestic demand created by crop losses in recent floods. A Food Ministry official said Bangladesh will buy that total amount of rice at a cost of Tk 377.65 crore each ton costing $455 or Tk37,487. The rice will be imported under government-to-government (G2G) basis. The ministry’s proposal will be placed at the meeting of the cabinet committee on public purchase and economic affairs on Wednesday, with an alternative chairman in the chair as Finance Minister AMA Muhith is currently in Washington to attend the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meeting, said the official.
The official also added that per ton rice from India will cost more than Tk823 compared to the rice imported from Myanmar. The 100,000 tons rice import will be the first of its kind arrangement between Bangladesh and India in recent years. India on September 3 had decided to export around 500,000 tons of parboiled rice to create a buffer stock. According to the Food Ministry proposal, the India government’s authorized agro cooperative National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) will export the rice to Bangladesh. Bangladesh is currently facing a shortfall of 1.5 million tons of rice due to heavy crop losses during the recent flooding in different districts across the country. After the floods, around 150,000 tons of rice has been exported to Bangladesh by private traders from India until now. Amid strained relations with Myanmar over the Rohingya refugee crisis, last week the cabinet committee on public purchase had also approved the Food Ministry’s deal on procuring of 100,000 tons of rice – each ton costing $442 or Tk36, 416 – from Myanmar in a bid to bring down the prices in local markets.