The cabinet committee on national purchase on Wednesday approved purchases of one lakh tonnes of non-aromatic rice from India under a government-to-government deal.
The committee at a meeting on the day cleared a proposal from the food ministry to import per tonne of rice at US $455 from India.
Industries minister Amir Hossain Amu presided over the meeting in absence of committee chairman and finance minister AMA Muhith, who is now in USA.
Additional secretary Mostafizur Rahman of the cabinet division told reporters that PEC Limited, a nominated agency for exports and imports of India, would supply the rice within 60 days of the import order.
A total of Tk 377.65 crore would be spent to import the rice from India.
The private importers bring in rice from India regularly, but the latest initiative on a government–to-government basis between the two countries is the first in last one decade, according to food ministry officials.
The import of rice from India also follows the series of rice imports from Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia to make up the losses of rice due to prolonged flood and stabilise the price of the country’s main staple, they said.
The price of rice marked substantial rise in the local market because of supply glitz with the plummeting stocks pushing up the general inflation to 23 months high to 6.12 per cent in September.
The food ministry has decided to import 20 lakh tonnes of rice on government-to-government deals and by the private importers in the current fiscal year that would end In June 2018.
Mostafizur Rahman said the committee also approved two purchase deals –import of 25,000 tonnes of fertilizer from Qatar and same amount of fertilizer from Saudi Arabia at a cost of Tk 116 crore.
He said the committee also approved a power division proposal to procure equipments worth Tk 352.99 crore for expansion of electricity supply in Dhaka, Mymensingh, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions by the Rural Electrification Board.
Besides, proposals for establishment of three power sub-stations at a cost of Tk 25.10 crore and seven other proposals from the power division worth Tk 175 crore were also approved by the committee.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Commodities