Following the demand from different blocks, the government finally increased the duties on rice import. The import duty is now 55 percent, increased from 28 percent to discourage the import because of significant fall in prices of the food crop in the local market amid bumper production. The total duty on rice import will now be 55 percent, including 25 percent customs duty, 25 percent regulatory duty and 5 percent advance income tax.
The National Board of Revenue in a statutory regulatory order (SRO) increased the regulatory duty on rice import to 25 percent from 3 percent. The increased duty would be applicable for import of husked (brown rice), fortified rice kernels, semi-milled or wholly-milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed and broken rice.
The government took the move amid farmers’ protest against falling paddy price in local market. To save the farmers from the financial loss, the NBR increased the import duty of rice as per instruction of the prime minister.
The severe shortage of agriculture labourers forces the growers to hire them at high wages from Tk 600 to Tk 1,000 a day to harvest their paddy while they are now selling 40kg of boro paddy at Tk 500 to Tk 600.
However, it is feared that the imposition of additional duty might have little impact on the prices on the local market as a significant amount of rice had already been imported. Average retail price of coarse rice was dropped by 15 percent to around Tk 38 per kilogramme in a year in the local market.