Dhaka, June 20 (IANS) Bangladesh has cut import duty on rice from 28 per cent to 10 per cent in a bid to stabilise the domestic market, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed announced on Tuesday.
Ahmed said the price of rice was expected to fall by 6 taka per kg as a result of the duty reduction, reports Xinhua news agency.
Owing to higher import duty placed in 2015 and 2016 in a bid to safeguard local farmers amid cheap prices from neighbouring countries, rice import dropped to a four-year low this year.
As the domestic rice market has again become volatile in the wake of reports that paddy production is likely to fall this year due to flash floods and rice blast disease, prices have begun to soar since April.
Against this backdrop, the Bangladeshi government has strengthened its efforts to build a buffer stock of rice through quick imports.
The Bangladeshi government last week decided to import rice from Vietnam for over 39 taka a kg.
The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh reportedly recorded a 47 per cent hike in the prices of coarse rice this month compared to the same period last year.
Rising prices of food items, particularly staple rice, is a key concern for the government as nearly 31.5 per cent of its around 160 million people still live below the national poverty line.