For the first time, the government has decided to import boiled rice from India by railways. The trains will carry 50,000 tonne non-basmati boiled rice from Kolkata to Benapole, Darshana and Rohanpur land ports in Bangladesh.
Cabinet Division Additional Secretary Shahida Akhter said the government decided to use the railway to import rice at low cost and in the fastest time possible.
The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase approved nine purchase proposals, including the import of 50,000 tonne rice, in a virtual meeting held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday.
Shahida Akhter said the committee approved the proposal to import 50,000 tonne boiled rice worth about Tk164 crore from the M/S Soubhik Exports Limited, India. The committee approved the import through railway for the first time on a trial basis.
She said the committee has also approved two separate purchase proposals of Petrobangla for importing 67.20 lakh MMBTU LNG worth about Tk616 crore from the United States.
The committee has also approved the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation's (BADC) proposal for importing 1.80 lakh tonne MOP fertiliser worth Tk448 crore from Belarus and 1.50 lakh tonne TSP fertiliser worth Tk724 crore from Tunisia.
The committee also gave approval to the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation's (BCIC) proposal for purchasing 30,000 tonne bagged granular urea fertiliser worth Tk92 crore from the Karnafuli Fertiliser Company Limited (Kafco).
Shahida Akhter said the cabinet committee has approved a proposal of buying services and equipment from the TAIHAN Consortium, Korea for the project titled "Establishment of 160 Upazila ICT Training and Resource for Education Phase-II" of the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics under the Secondary and Higher Education Division. The project will cost around Tk460 crore.
In addition, the committee approved a proposal from the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) to purchase equipment worth Tk74 crore under the "Secondary Education Sector Investment Program (CESIP)" project. The vocational education equipment will be distributed in 640 educational institutions.