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Govt permits 50 agencies to import 1.24 lakh MT rice

Rice sacks to mention variety, weight, mills gate price without fail: Sadhan

Published : Wednesday, 17 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 261

The government has started issuing import permit (IP) for importing rice from aboard to meet the increasing demand and enhance food grain stock of the country and control rice price in the market.

As part of the initiative, the Food Ministry on Tuesday issued import permit for importing 1.24 lakh metric tons of rice to some 50 rice importing companies of the country. As a result, the importers would be able to import boiled and par-boiled rice from different rice exporting countries including India.

Besides, though the government has enhanced monitoring to ensure implementation of the directives to mention the variety of the rice, its production date, net weight and maximum retail price and mills gate price on the rice packs supplied in the market, a section of the traders and rice millers have requested the government to defer the deadline of implementing the decision showing some reasons.

However, the Food Ministry decided not to defer the deadline further and implement the decision strictly, so that the consumers are not cheated by the fraudulent traders and companies.

In accordance with the Food Ministry directives, its mandatory for the rice traders and millers to mention the details on the rice packs from April 14 this year, the Ministry officials said.

According to Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder, some of the rice mills owners and mega companies have been marketing some varieties of rice, which are not grown in the country.

Buying coarse rice, usually the poor and middle income families consume, from the local market or rice millers, they have been packaging those and marketing at higher price giving different names like Miniket and Najirshail. However, there is no variety of Miniket and Najirshail in the country, the Minister said while talking to this correspondent.

In this situation, the government seriously wants to stop such fraudulence with the consumers and decided to mention the names of original varieties, production date, net weight and MRP and mills gate price on the sacks. The decision would strictly be implemented, so that the consumers are not cheated. It would ensure proper price for the farmers and traders wouldn be able to make much profits, he claimed.

Sadhan Majumder said the directives have come to effect from April 14 this year. The authorities concerned including the Directorate General of Food (DG Food) have already started monitoring the markets and rice mills.

"An inter-ministerial coordination meeting would be held at the Ministry with the stakeholders, so that the decision can be implemented smoothly. Once the directives are implemented, both the farmers and the consumers would be benefited. The volatility in the rice market would be lessened," he added.

According to the provision of the "Production, Storage, Transfer, Transport, Supply, Distribution and Marketing (Prevention of Harmful Activities) of Food Products Act, 2023", it would be a punishable offence to produce, store, transfer, transport, supply, distribute and market any food products without mentioning the names of original varieties, production date, net weight and MRP and mills gate price on the sacks.

Those who will violate the rules of the law would be awarded jail terms for minimum two years to maximum five year or penalized Tk 10 to Tk 15 lakh or both.

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