Govt increases duty on rice import to 55%

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Dhaka, May 22: The government has increased the duty on import of the basic staple to protect local produce as well as farmer’s interest in Bangladesh.The government’s decision would help the farmer to get fair price as the farmers selling their products (Boro paddy) at Tk 450-500 per maund which is lower than their production cost.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has increased the regulatory duty on rice imports to 25 per cent, from what was 3 per cent previously, said a notice.

Now, importers will have to count a total of 55 per cent tax and duty, which includes advance income tax of 5 per cent and prevailing 25 per cent tariff.

The decision came in the backdrop of widespread protest over the drastic fall of price of Boro paddy.

Paddy prices have fallen to a nearly three-year low impacted by downturn in paddy prices at the farmers’ level in the wake of good harvest as well as higher private and public stocks of the grain.

Bangladesh bagged 3.62 crore tonnes of rice in fiscal 2017-18 and the total production is expected to hit a new high during the current fiscal year, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), rice millers and traders.

In addition, fresh imports and carryover stocks have added to the overall domestic supply.

Earlier, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on May 19 said the government would take all measures to export rice, even if it means compensating for losses exporters might incur in the process, to ensure fair prices for farmers.

And on May 20, the parliamentary standing committee on food ministry recommended to stop rice import.