The government has decided to cut the total import duty on rice in a bid to rein in prices of the staple in the local market.
Following the instruction of the Prime Minister, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) is going to lower the duty on rice to 15 per cent from the existing 25 per cent.
Sources said the reduced tax rate on the import of rice might be valid until October next.
The NBR will issue a statutory regulatory order (SRO) soon on the tax cut.
The decision on reduction of duty on import of rice came following proposals from the ministry of food.
Officials familiar with the development said the government took the decision to encourage traders to import rice to keep its price affordable for the common people.
In December last, the import duty on parboiled rice was reduced to 25 per cent from 62.5 per cent for ensuring fair prices for the commodity.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), prices of coarse rice went up by 37 per cent in a year.
Coarse and medium varieties of rice are now selling at Tk 50-60 a kg at the retail level in the city, trading sources said.
Finer varieties of rice are now selling at Tk 65-78 a kg at the retail level, they added. The annual demand for rice in Bangladesh is 34 million tonnes.