The cabinet committee on government purchase at a meeting on Wednesday approved a proposal from the ministry of food to purchase one and half lakh tonnes of rice from India on a government- to-government deal.
Presided over by finance minister AMA Muhith at the secretariat, the committee approved the proposal, placed among miscellaneous agenda, in line with the government’s plans to import 15 lakh tonnes of rice to make up crop losses due to prolonged floods.
With this, the ministry of food has completed approval process of the planned import of rice.
Additional secretary of the cabinet division Mostafizur Rahman said the price of 1.5 lakh tonnes of rice would be Tk 547 crore at a rate of $440 a tonne.
The committee earlier in October approved import 1 lakh tonnes of rice from India.
The committee on Wednesday also approved procurement of 50,000 tonnes of wheat from a private supplier of South Korea at a cost of Tk 101 crore.
According to food ministry officials, 4,17,590 tonnes of rice were imported until November 28 since July 1.
The quantity of rice in stock was 3,81,030 tonnes as of November 28, much less than the comfortable reserve requirement of 10 lakh tonnes.
The cabinet committee on national purchase also approved premium of Tk 228 crore for the import of fuel oils for the period of January-June 2018 through competitive biddings.
Besides, the committee cleared five other proposals including awarding dredging works of 120 kilometre waterways in Faridpur region at a cost of Tk 174 crore to Bangladesh Navy with direct purchase and four proposals of the energy division worth Tk 8.4 crore.
A meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs, also presided over by Muhith, was held at the same venue.
But the committee could not review a proposal for purchasing three Dash aircraft with a proposed loan from the Export Development of Canada because of absence of the civil aviation and tourism minister.
Officials said the Export Development of Canada expressed interest to give a $90 million loan to the Bangladesh Biman to purchase the aircraft. They said Biman wanted to procure the aircraft to fill up the vacuum to be created because of return of more than half of its fleet by March 2018.
Biman operated 13 aircraft, of which seven were taken on lease while it owns six aircraft.
Among the leased aircraft two are Dash, manufactured by a company in Canada.
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