Rice-laden trucks to be released from ports on priority basis

Staff Correspondent

12 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The Food Planning and Monitoring Committee (FPMC) of the food ministry will take necessary steps to prioritize the entry of rice-laden trucks through different land ports along the border   with India to speed up the imports.

The decision was taken at a meeting of FPMC held virtually on Thursday, said a press release of the ministry.

The meeting was informed that hundreds of rice laden trucks remained stuck at Bhomra, Hilly, Burimari, Banglabandha, Shewla, Sona Masjid and other land ports.

Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder has requested the designated ministry to take necessary steps so that the rice-laden trucks are released from the ports on a priority basis.

“There is a restriction to the import Atap rice by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) but this item has great demand in Sylhet and Chattogram,” said the minister.

He requested for considering whether the ban could be relaxed on the import of non-basmati coarse rice.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque, Minister for Fisheries and Livestock SM Rezaul Karim, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam and secretary of the designated ministry and DG of FPMC also attended the meeting.

Sadhan Chandra Majumder presided over the meeting and Food Secretary Dr. Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum was the moderator.

The food ministry has earlier allowed the private sector to import 10.18 lakh tonnes of rice to control the soaring price of rice. Private traders have already started the import of rice from India through different land ports.

However, a delay in import has caused a rise in rice price in the local market.

Traders who were allowed to import 5,000 tonnes of rice will have to market 50 per cent of the staple by 10 days and the entire amount by 20 days while those who imported 10,000-50,000 tonnes of rice will have to release 50 per cent in the market within 15 days and the whole amount within 50 days.

Earlier, the government has decided to lower the duty on the import of rice to 25 per cent from 62.5 per cent to encourage rice import in the private sector.