The government is set to import 50,000 metric tons of sugar, in order to control the market and meet shortages in the country.
The Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement approved an industries ministry proposal to import the sugar in a meeting presided over by Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday. The sugar shall be imported through London based firm ED&F Man Sugar Limited at a rate of $470 with per ton, resulting in a total cost of Tk 211.32 crore .
Cabinet Division Additional Secretary Mostafizur Rahman told reporters that ED&F Man Sugar limited, who will supply the sugar through two vessels, offered the best price out of four companies.
The other firms which participated in the tender were United Sugar Mills Limited, City Sugar Industries Limited and M/S Globatu Import and Export Limited.
According to the industries ministry, the total stock of sugar at state-owned firms stands at 41,951 tons, with 23,471 tons of the amount earmarked for distribution among the military, police, Border Guard Bangladesh and Ansar.
The retail price of sugar has now dropped to Tk56 per kg from Tk60 one month ago, while packed sugar is selling at Tk65 per kg as compared to Tk69 a month earlier.
The annual demand for sugar in Bangladesh is at 1.5 million tons. About 7-8% of this is produced by 15 state-run sugar mills, while the rest is imported from the private sector.