Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal says the government is trying to procure rice from different sources so that no problems arise in future
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved three separate proposals to procure 350,000 tons of rice under the direct procurement method (DPM) from India, Thailand and Vietnam.
The approval came during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday, held virtually with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in chair.
It was the eighth meeting of the committee this year.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, the finance minister said the meeting gave approval to a proposal in principle for procuring 150,000 tons of non-basmati boiled rice under the DPM method from the Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd (PUNSUP) of India, to meet emergency purposes.
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He said the meeting approved another proposal from the Ministry of Food for importing another 150,000 tons from the Sakonnakhon National Farmers Council, Office of the Prime Minister, in Thailand.
The third proposal from the Ministry of Food was approved to import 50,000 tons of white rice under the DPM method from the Southern Food Corporation (VINAFOOD) in Vietnam.
The finance minister said the government was trying to procure rice from different sources so that no problems arise if any source country or company fails to live up to its commitment.
“We are procuring rice from various sources in order to minimize the risk factors,” he added.
In response to a question, Kamal said the concerned Bangladesh ambassadors in India, Thailand and Vietnam would negotiate with the concerned companies and organizations to fix the price of the rice to be imported.
Apart from this, the finance minister said the meeting approved another proposal, which was tabled in the meeting, to exclude the holding of a drone and laser show as part of celebrating the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence, considering the growing infection rate of Covid-19.
He added that the other components of the celebration would be held in accordance with health and safety measures, as well as social distancing.