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Bangladesh further cuts import duty on rice to stabilize market

Staff Writer | August 16, 2017
Bangladesh has decided to cut import duty on rice further to 2 percent in a bid to rein the instability in prices of the staple food item amid flash floods.
Bangladesh rice
Asia   Flash floods
Bangladeshi Food Minister Qamrul Islam made the announcement at a press briefing Wednesday in the capital of Dhaka.

"We've decided to slash the duty to 2 percent from the existing 10," said the minister.

He said the government decided to import 1.5 million tones of rice in the current 2017-2018 fiscal year in an effort to replenish reserves and rein in prices of the staple in the wake of the flooding.

Apart from this, he said Bangladesh will import 500,000 tonnes of wheat in the current fiscal year.

He said a state agency has already started to import rice through government-to-government deals from producers of Cambodia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, as importing via tenders is a lengthy process.

After the second round of flooding in June, the Bangladeshi government eased import duty on rice to 10 percent from 28 percent in a bid to stabilize the domestic market.

Owing to higher import duty placed back in 2015 and 2016 to safeguard local farmers amid cheap prices from neighboring countries, rice import has dropped to a four-year low this year.

Local importers blamed a 28-percent tariff on rice import for the decline.