Thursday, February 22, 2018 | ePaper

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Both `trade and diplomacy` with Myanmar to continue together: Qamrul

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Food Minister Qamrul Islam on Sunday informed Parliament that the government is going to import rice from Myanmar considering cheap price saying ‘trade’ and ‘diplomatic effort’ would continue together with the neighbouring country.
He raised the argument for rice import from Myanmar replying to a supplementary question from JSD lawmaker Nazmul Haque Prodhan.
The Food Minister said, “I’ve gone on visit to Myanmar as the Prime Minister said that ‘trade’ and ‘diplomatic effort’ will continue together.”
Nazmul Haque in his question said that the country has been experiencing serious crisis due to ongoing influx of Rohingyas to Bangladesh, but the Food Minister went to Myanmar to import rice from there. “Does the minister get special discount?” he asked.
Qamrul said Bangladesh government has signed a deal with Myanmar to import three lakhs metric tons of rice. But, 1.20 lakh metric tons of rice will be imported in first phase, he added.
The cost of rice import from Myanmar will be lower than that from Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. It takes only three days to bring rice from Myanmar, while it takes 15-20 days from other countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
He claimed the price of rice to be imported from Myanmar has not been finalised yet.
In reply to another question, the Food Minister said the rice prices have been static at present in the country and remain under the purchasing capacity of the common people.

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