Friday, October 20, 2017 | ePaper

Rice import at high price proves the govt was not prepare to face the crisis

  • Print
THE government move to import the primary food staple rice from Vietnam at prices much higher than local prices and recent imports have earned much criticism. The sudden food crisis due to flashflood in the Haor areas failing the government's ensured food security have catalyzed to increase prices of all varieties of rice in the domestic market and depleted the public granaries to such an extent that the government is compelled to import rice at high prices. As per news media report, the government has sanctioned 2.5 lakh tonnes of rice import under a government-to-government deal with Vietnam. The government, if it took precautionary steps, would not have needed to import rice within weeks at high prices.
It is said that Vietnam has promised to ship the first consignment in 15 days and complete shipping of all 2 lakh tonnes of white rice and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled within 60 days. For each ton of parboiled rice, the government would have to pay $470 and for white rice $430. The prices are $23 to $42 (for per ton) higher than the rate that the government had sanctioned two weeks ago to international suppliers for importing two consignments of white and parboiled rice each weighing 50,000 tonnes. Floating international tenders in May, the government awarded two companies based in Dubai and Singapore two import shipments at $406.48 and $427.85 a ton of white and parboiled rice respectively. The government would spend Tk 908.85 crore to buy the Vietnamese rice, spending Tk 56.53 crore more compared to the prices in the international market.
Millers at home declined to sell rice to the government during the current Boro procurement season saying its price offer was not lucrative enough and the price of coarse rice hit an all-time high of Tk 48. For the situation, experts blamed an imprudent food stock policy that the government pursued this year thereby allowing market manipulators to pick-up the prices of coarse rice up to 42 percent comparing to last year's price. With millers declining to sell rice to the government at low price offers of Tk 34 a kg, the government was threatening that those millers would be blacklisted for future trade. Although some rice was lost in the Haor flashfloods, the price should not have jumped so high. Why the Food Ministry and Food Directorate have failed to keep the minimum security stock of rice in the granaries is an unsolved question.
It is understood that the government failed to keep a crisis stock and market is now at the mercy of rice millers and traders. Relief and various food programs have contributed to depleting the food stock, but it is difficult to understand that the government was not prepared for the consequence of natural disaster.

More News For this Category

Move about replacing garment monitoring agencies

BGMEA leaders have decided not to extend agreement with Accord and Alliance - two buyers assigned inspection agencies to monitor remediation of garment factories in Bangladesh beyond their tenure

Mr Xi`s new vision for China

CHINESE President Xi Jinping has laid out a far-reaching vision for a more prosperous nation and a dominating role for China in the world as the US President Donald

100 million girls unprotected against child marriage

Tharanga Yakupitiyage :Over 20,000 girls are married before the age of 18 every day around the world as countries continue to lack legal protections, according to a new study.Concerned over

Trump, Korea and the ban

Dr. Joseph Gerson :There is much to celebrate in the Nobel Peace Prize Committee's decision to award this year's prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).Sculpture depicting

Artificial Intelligence : The end of the human race?

Patrice Caine :During the height of summer, an open letter to the United Nations warning of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence, signed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and more than

Readers’ Forum

The UNESCO EnvoyThe UNESCO recently made Jordanian Princess Sumaya a UNESCO Special 'Envoy for Science for Peace' (2017-2019). This appointment has been given to the Princess in recognition of her

Higher level of rural poverty call for targeted actions

THOUGH we have gradually achieved improvement in our socio-economic conditions poverty level continues to be a significant problem in the country with about 47 million people are still living

Diplomacy must work in Korean peninsula

THE Korean peninsula is closer to war again as a North Korean official reaffirmed on Monday Pyongyang's commitment to developing a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching "all

What forces are fueling Myanmar's Rohingya crisis?

Eleanor Albert  :Discriminatory policies of Myanmar's government since the late 1970s have compelled hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya to flee their homes in the predominantly Buddhist country. Most have

Another environmental catastrophe looms in Central Asia

Adrian Van der Meer :During the UN week in New York in September, the media were dominated by headlines about North Korea, Iran, Syria, migration and fighting terrorism. These are