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14 September, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Rumour on Indian ban of rice export

Conspiracy to hike prices further: Officials
ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN

Some unscrupulous traders have allegedly spread a fake circular stating that the Indian government has suspended the export of all rice, except for Basmati, to Bangladesh from September 15 until the next harvest in November.

The target is apparently to destabilise rice markets in the country. The circular first cropped up in Benapole.

However, Benapole-Petrapole customs officials and the Indian authorities have clarified that the circular is bogus.

But some rice importers apprehend a further rise in the price of the grain in Bangladesh. Indian rice traders have already increased the prices by USD 80–100 per tonne, rice importers told The Independent yesterday.

“We are yet to get any such circular from the Indian authorities. I have seen such a circular, although it had no signature. We think it’s a fake,” Shawkat Hossain, the commissioner of Benapole Customs House, told The Independent yesterday.

“The Bangladesh side has spoken to the Indian deputy commissioner at Petrapole, Rahul Mohanto, regarding the circular. Mohanto has confirmed that no such circular has been issued from Delhi,” he said.

Hossain claimed that some unscrupulous Bangladeshi traders may have been involved in spreading such a fake circular to destabilise the rice prices in the country.

“We’re not aware of the circular. To the best of our knowledge, no such circular has been issued from New Delhi,” a diplomat at the Indian high commission in Bangladesh told this correspondent.  The Indian government is ready to help Bangladesh resolve any crisis, including that of food, he said.

The rice market will become volatile if the circular is genuine, Gausol Alam Khan Babul, senior vice-chairman of the Bangladesh Rice Merchants’ Association, told this correspondent.

“I had offered an L/C (letter of credit) for 100 tonnes of rice from India at USD 420 per tonne. But the Indian traders refused. They bargained for a higher price. I had to pay another USD 70 per tonne,” said Babul.

He alleged that Indian traders are continuously breaching the terms. “Indian traders have increased the prices by USD 70–100 per tonne within a week. Now, they are asking for USD 550 per tonne,” he said in reply to a query.

The importers are thinking about importing rice from Thailand, Myanmar and other countries, he added.

If such a trend continues, the price of rice will increase further, he observed.

“We have heard such a news but it has no authenticity. It is just a rumour,” Golam Rahman, the managing director of Desh Bandhu Group, told this correspondent.

Some evil traders—either in Bangladesh or in India—may be involved in spreading such a circular, he said.

The market price of coarse rice is fixed on the basis of local prices, he said. “Today, we have bought coarse paddy at Tk. 1,150 per maund. The production of rice costs only 23.5 kg per maund, and its market price is Tk. 52 per kg,” he added.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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