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Indian rice import suspended for 2nd day PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 March 2008

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Private sector import of rice from India remained suspended for the second consecutive day Sunday after New Delhi hiked export price to $650 a tonne.

Several hundred trucks loaded with rice were stranded in the Indian sides of the borders, as the authorities there did not clear the consignments for deliveries to Bangladeshi importers, port officials and traders at land ports said.

Abdul Gani, superintendent of customs at Sonamasjid land port, said though import of all other items was normal, no truck carrying rice entered into Bangladesh on Saturday and Sunday. Of the total 237 trucks came, none was with rice.

Asadur Rahman, a rice importer, said about 1,300 rice-laden trucks got stranded at India’s Mohodipur land port as the authorities stopped giving gate pass to the rice-carrying trucks since the latest price hike of Indian rice. Shamsul Alam Zinnah, manager of a trading house, said that 8,000 tonnes rice of their farm were waiting for delivery at Mohodipur.

He demanded immediate diplomatic measures to solve the problems. Thousands of tonnes of rice destined for Bangladesh also remained stranded on the other sides of Benapole, Bhomra, Darshana and Hili ports, importers claimed.

Aditya Majumder, owner of Majumder Traders, said on Sunday that some 11,000 tonnes of rice remained stranded at Petrapole, Ghojadanga, Gede and Hili border points in India’s West Bengal state.

‘I had sustained a loss of Tk 1.37 crore last time when India increased the export rate of rice to over $500,’ he claimed. Aditya, whose farm supplies rice to the BDR and the government warehouses, suggested diplomatic initiatives with India for deliveries of the import consignments at earlier rate.

Jakir Hossain, assistant commissioner of Benapole customs said that not a single consignment of rice entered the country through Benapole, Bhomra and Darshana ports on Sunday.

‘Railway wagons carried some 1,800 tonnes of rice on Thursday,’ he said. About 10.27 lakh tonnes rice were imported through Benapole, Bhomra and Darshana ports till Thursday in the current fiscal year, the customs official said.

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