DHAKA, June 7 (Reuters) - Bangladesh is imposing a 28 percent tax on rice imports to support its farmers after local production revived, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said on Thursday.
The duty hike would reduce imports, especially from neighbouring India, which emerged as the biggest supplier to the South Asian country last year after floods ravaged its crop.
“This year we have a bumper production in rice, thus to protect local farmers, 25 percent customs duty and 3 percent regulatory duty has been re-imposed on rice importation,” Muhith said in his budget speech for the 2018/19 fiscal year.
Bangladesh had cut an import duty of 28 percent in two phases in 2017 to 2 percent after domestic prices of the staple grain climbed to a record high.
Bangladesh imported a record of more than 3.7 million tonnes of rice in the July-April period, data from the country’s food ministry showed.
Reporting by Ruma Paul; Writing by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Tom Hogue