The country’s tanners have sought permission from the government to import nearly 0.2 million tonnes of crude salt aiming to process rawhide and skins of sacrificial animals during upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest festival of the Muslims, industry insiders said. Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) has recently sent a letter to the ministry of commerce (MoC), seeking approval in this regard, they added. A senior official of the MoC said, “The government has decided to import 0.5 million tonnes of crude salt aiming to keep its supply and prices stable in the local market in future and for upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.” In this connection, the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports (CCI&E) will issue a public notification soon as per the directions of the MoC. About 0.191 million tonnes of crude salt will be needed for processing over 19 million pieces of rawhide and skins of sacrificial animals, BTA treasurer Mizanur Rahman told the FE on Sunday. “Such an amount of salt will meet our demand all the year round,” he said. As production of salt in the country is less than the actual demand, the government has taken preparations to face any possible shortage in the country, a high official of the ministry said. A significant amount of salt would be required after Eid-ul-Azha for processing the hides and skins of animals to be sacrificed, he said. More or less 2.0 million tonnes of crude salt are needed every year in the country, according to Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC). The millers produce about 1.5-1.7 million tonnes of crude salt every year which meets the country’s total demand for salt. According to the industries ministry, the country needs over 1.57 million tonnes of salt a year. This year salt production was some 0.21 million tonnes less than the demand, according to a handout. The government allowed organisations concerned to import 0.25 million tonnes of crude salt last year, officials said. Salt production in the country was hampered seriously due to cyclonic storm ‘Mora’ and heavy rain. Importers to be selected by the government can open letters of credit (LCs) to import salt.