Dhaka – Bangladesh has decided to import 100,000 tons of rice from Myanmar despite an apparent strained relation over exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence from its next-door neighbor.
Food Minister Quamrul Islam said the decision came as Bangladesh needs more food to face the instability in the domestic market.
The decision was finalized after a meeting with a Myanmar delegation in Dhaka. The final decision will be implemented only after the Prime Minister’s Office and cabinet committee on purchase approves the proposal.
The purchase will be made at 442 dollars per ton, according to officials at the ministry of food.
A number of humanitarian organizations have been urging the government not to import rice from Myanmar after influx of Rohingya refugee began in the aftermath of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on August 25.
More than 410,000 Rohingya Muslims fled into Bangladesh after Myanmar army launched offensive against suspected Rohingya insurgents killing more than 400 people. Civilians crossing the border into Bangladesh say the army and Buddhist mob kill thousands of Muslims and burning down their homes.
Facing severe back to back floods, Bangladesh decided to import rice from Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and India as prices of the prime staple food have gone up over the past month in domestic market.
The government slashed import duty on rice import to two percent from the preceding 20 percent.