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Govt indecision blamed for rice price hike

  • Published at 07:08 pm September 27th, 2017
Govt indecision blamed for rice price hike
The government indecision over procurement and tax cut in import has contributed to the hike in rice price recently, according to the World Bank. The World Bank lead economist, Zahid Hussain, came up with the remark while addressing a group of journalists at his office in Dhaka on Wednesday. He was delivering speech on The Bangladesh Development Update: Towards more, better and inclusive jobs. “About the recent hike in rice price, there are a series of generalised comments. Some lay blame on the government mismanagement, while others on trader's syndicate that create artificial shortage.” Flood in haor area and later in other parts of the country had been the key reason for price hike as it hit rice production. The government indecision over procurement to meet the shortage and cut in import tax played a crucial role, observed the economist. Flood in haor areas is said to have lowered rice production by about 10,00,000 tons, but in recent estimate, it was about 20,00,000 tons. Instead of cutting import duty at a time, the government did that in phases. As a result, a good number of rice-laden trucks were deliberately waiting on the border to enjoy more duty cut which pushed the rice price up, said Zahid. “We cannot put aside that there was no hoarding by the traders as they take the chance of uncertainty,” he added. Meanwhile, rumor on import ban by the Indian government cast an adverse impact on the market though it was a fake news, said the noted economist. In September, prices of per kilogramme of rice in different categories went up by Tk8 to Tk10. Following the price hike, the government has cut import duty by 26%. it also allowed import of rice in poly bag instead of jute sack.
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