Govt to import rice from India

Staff Correspondent

6 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The government has decided to import 50,000 tonnes of boiled rice from India by train for the first time.

The Cabinet Committee on Purchase approved the proposal on Wednesday at a meeting with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair.

After the meeting, Shahida Akhter, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division, briefed reporters virtually. Some 8 proposals were approved at the meeting out of 14 proposals placed.

Shahida said the rice will be imported through the railway for the first time from India at $386 per tonne. The rice will cost Tk 32.73 per kg.

The first consignment of the rice will reach Darshana in Bangladesh via Benapole port from Chhattisgarh in Kolkata of India.

Due to the shortage of rice reserve in the country, the government approved to procure rice from Thailand and Myanmar along with India.

Earlier, the government has decided to procure 1.15 million metric tonnes of rice (boiled and non-boiled) and 0.65 million metric tonnes of paddy during the ongoing Boro season.

Besides, the government will procure a total of 3.60 lakh metric tonnes of MOP, TSP and granular urea fertilizer in addition to 67.20 lakh MMBtu LNG to meet the growing demand.

The additional secretary informed that under two separate proposals, Petrobangla would procure 33.60 lakh MMBtu LNG from US-based Excelerate Energy LP at a cost of Tk 318.26 crore, with the unit price of $9.53.

Petrobangla would also procure 33.60 lakh MMBtu LNG from the same US company      

at a cost of Tk 298.22 crore, with a unit price of $8.93.

Apart from this, BCIC under the Ministry of Industries would procure 30,000 metric tonnes of bagged granular urea fertilizer from KAFCO under the 14th lot at a cost of around Tk 92.38 crore.

The Cabinet Division additional secretary said the meeting also approved a proposal from the Secondary and Higher Education Division for procuring vocational education equipment for 640 educational institutions under the 2nd and 4th lot of the project titled “Secondary Education Sector Investment Programme”.

In another proposal from the Secondary and Higher Education Division, necessary public works, machinery, equipment and services would be procured from the TAIHAN Consortium of Korea at a cost of around Tk 460 crore under the project titled “Establishment of 160 Upazila ICT Training and Resource for Education Phase-2”.

Meanwhile, the finance minister said the day’s meeting did not consider five proposals from the Ministry of Housing and Public Works as the government has decided not to consider any proposal for fresh project works from this ministry until June 30 this year.

He said the public works against these five placed proposals would not be completed within this fiscal year as there is not ample time left for completing new project works.

Kamal said that during this period, the government would only consider funding of the ongoing projects, the foreign-funded projects and the concerned variation proposals from this ministry.

Regarding vaccines import from India, the minister said Bangladesh will get back the money if India’s Serum Institute fails to supply the vaccine.

“We will take the money back when we will finally come to know that no vaccine will be supplied. We will get back the money,” he said.

“Does any country run off with another country’s money in this way? Everything was done based on written contracts,” he added.