New Delhi (Agencies): State-owned trading companies PEC and STC have floated tenders inviting Indian companies to ship three lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice to Bangladesh.

Though India had prohibited exports of non-basmati rice in April 2008, the government has allowed exports of three lakh tonnes of the rice to Bangladesh on diplomatic grounds and at a concessional rate.

The tender by the state-run trading firms comes within a few days after Bangladesh Food Minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaqe met Food Minister KV Thomas to decide the prices and quality issues of the grain.

"Now, we have agreed on this price at Rs 20,200 per tone and also on the condition that rice would be inspected at Kakinada port," Razzaque had stated.

Bangladesh had previously stressed that the quality inspection should be done at its ports. However, India did not agree to the demand because of repeated instances of rejections of the consignment.

As per the tender specifications, the bidder has to ship 3,00,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice (par-boiled) from various FCI godowns in and around Kakinada Port in Andhra Pradesh to Chittagong and/ or Mongla Port in Bangladesh.

After gaining the contract, the successful bidder will have to transport the consignment within 100 days.