Sources at the land port said although rice import has been inactive due to high tax rates, the high quality 'Shampakatari" and "Najirshail' breed of rice used to be imported in 10-15 trucks every day
Prices of different types of rice have fallen at Hili Land Port over the last few days by Tk2 per kg following decline in demand for imported rice, and a decline in the price of local rice varieties.
Sources at the land port said although rice import has been inactive due to high tax rates, the high quality "Shampakatari" and "Najirshail" breed of rice used to be imported in 10-15 trucks every day.
But a fall in their demand resulted in zero rice import on Wednesday and Thursday.
Anup Basak, a rice trader at Hili Bazar, said that prices of different kinds of rice which were high have gone down.
He added that the local "Swarna" rice is now being sold at TK29-30 per kg, having gone down by Tk2 in less than a month. Another breed, Ratna, which was sold at Tk34 per kg a month earlier, is now being sold at Tk32 per kg.
The Miniket variety of rice is currently being sold at Tk46 per kg, which was previously sold for Tk48 per kg.
Lalit Keshera, a rice importer at the land port, said the government's initiatives to dissuade traders from importing rice by hiking import taxes from 3 to 28% has discouraged all traders from importing rice.
Despite this, demand for Shampakatari and Najirshail encouraged some to import 10-15 trucks every day. But as the prices dipped in the local market, they have again lost motivation to import the two breeds, ceasing import altogether for the last few days, he added.
Public relations officer at the land port, Sohrab Hossain, acknowledged that no rice was imported for the last few days.