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Rice import would not affect farmers' interest, says Tofail

SANGSAD BHABAN, Sept 12, 2017 (BSS) - Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed today said the government's decision on importing 15 lakh tonnes of rice and five lakh tonnes of wheat during the current fiscal year will not affect the interest of the country's farmers.

The commerce minister made the assertion in the Jatiya Sangsad while responding to a call attention notice brought by Jatiya Party lawmaker Nurul Islam Milon of Comilla-8 under the Rule 71 of the Rules of Procedure of the House.

Tofail said the decision on importing rice on a temporary has been taken at the directives of the prime minister for mitigating production shortfall caused by the recent flood.

He said under the current fiscal plan the government had a target to import 9 lakh tonnes of rice and 3 lakh tonnes of wheat, but the recent onslaught of floods has forced the government to increase the volume of rice import.

Tofail said even the decision would not affect the farmers as the tariff on rice import has been reduced temporarily. The tariff would be imposed again during the coming harvesting season, he added.