The government has allowed 415 traders to import 16.93 lakh tonnes of rice to increase its supply to the local market and control its price spiral.
To this effect, the Food Ministry sent a letter to the Secretary of the Commerce Ministry on Monday.
On the last day, the ministry has approved 79 applications from rice millers and traders to import 1.1 lakh metric tonnes boiled and atap rice.
Earlier on August 17, the ministry allowed 41 private organisations to import 4.10 lakh tones of rice, on August 18, it allowed 69 firms for importing 4.18 lakh tones, on August 21, 91 organization got approval to import 3.91 lakh tones, 73 traders and firms got approval to import 2.22 lakh tonnes boiled and atap rice on August 22, 41 private organizations to import 0.91 lakh tonnes boiled rice and 0.06 lakh tonnes atap rice on August 23 while 34 traders and firms got approval to import 57,000 tonnes boiled and atap rice on August 24.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has slashed import tariffs on rice to 25 percent from the existing 62.5 percent to facilitate private purchase from international sources and to keep prices in cheque.
The NBR issued a gazette notification in this regard on August 12.
To encourage the private sector to import the staple commodity in country in a bid to control the soaring rice prices, the food ministry urged the NBR to slash the import tariff to allow private businesses to buy 1 million tonnes of grain from abroad and increase supply to the local market.