Rice import through Benapole land port has resumed after 10 months.
A consignment of 512 tons of rice entered the port Sunday afternoon, which was released from the port Monday morning.
M/S Belal Hossain and M/S Lipu Enterprise are importing rice at the rate of USD 340 per ton. Benapole customs authority has fixed import duty on fine rice at USD 450 per ton and on coarse rice at USD 380 per ton.
Importers are paying Tk9.90 as import duty for every kilogram of rice.
Md Motiar Rahman, Director of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce (IBCC), said that the government stopped importing rice from India on August 31, 2021 to ensure proper market prices of rice produced in the country.
“Prices of rice shot up after recent floods in the country. The government allowed 95 importers to import 4.09 lakh mts of rice from India on June 30 to keep the rice market stable. Import of rice through the Benapole port began following the decision,” said Motiar.
Shamsur Rahman, President of Benapole C&F Agents Association, said that of the total amount of imported rice, boiled rice is 3,79,000 metric tonnes and non-boiled rice is 30,000 metric tonnes.
The food ministry has ordered to complete the LC-opening process within July 21 and marketing of the imported rice within August 11, said Shamsur.
Azim Uddin, a C&F trader, said that the rice consignment had to wait 17 days in Indian part before getting access to Benapole land port.
“Rice can be imported quickly if the consignments can get access to the port directly, which will in turn reduce the prices of rice in the local market,” said Azim.