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2 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 March, 2018 11:39:28 PM
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Sale of rice at Tk 10 per kg begins

Staff Reporter
Sale of rice at Tk 10 per kg begins

The government started selling rice at Tk. 10 per kg to 50 lakh ultra-poor families across the country yesterday (Thursday), to keep the rice market stable and help vulnerable people with a food-friendly programme.

Besides, the Open Market Sale (OMS) of coarse rice will begin on Sunday, food minister Qamrul Islam told The Independent yesterday.

The government’s decision has come at a time when rice prices are high in the local market.

The price of coarse rice in retail markets ranged from Tk. 43 to Tk. 46 per kg, which means the poor will get a discount of Tk. 33 under the subsidised programme.

Medium-quality rice was selling at Tk. 45–56 per kg and the finest quality at Tk. 60–70 per kg in the retail markets of the city, rice traders of the Mohammadpur Krishi Market told this correspondent.

“Rice will be sold at Tk. 30 and flour at Tk. 17 per kg under the OMS programme. The programme will continue until the harvesting of Boro crops,” the food minister said.

Under the programme, poor families led by women—particularly widows, divorced or abandoned—will be given priority, according to the guideline.

Extremely poor families with children will be given preference as well.

“The distribution of rice at Tk. 10 per kg has already started. But it would take one or two more days to begin the programme fully as dealers need to collect the rice from godowns,” Badrul Hasan, director general of the Directorate General of Food, told this correspondent.

There was space shortage in different warehouses to stock food, he said, adding, “We have instructed field-level officials to distribute rice quickly.”

A family can buy a maximum of 30 kg of rice at Tk. 10 per kg a month during the five lean months—March, April, September, October and November—requiring 7.5 lakh tonnes of rice annually, Badrul Hasan said in reply to a query.

“Each dealer can collect one tonne of rice under the OMS programme. One person can purchase 5 kg of rice at the rate of Tk. 30 per kg and flour at Tk. 17 a kg,” he added.

The total current stock of food grains in the country was 14.81 lakh tonnes—11.13 lakh tonnes of rice and 3.68 lakh tonnes of wheat, he said.

The government launched the programme in 2016 to sell rice at Tk. 10 to ultra-poor families.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the new social safety net scheme at Chilmari, in Kurigram, on September 7, 2016.

In 2017, around 50 lakh poor families benefited from the scheme across the country, with the opportunity to buy a maximum of 30 kg of rice a month at Tk. 10 per kg for the five lean months.

The food ministry has already selected the beneficiaries of the scheme at the union level.

All those who are very poor (around two crore) will be covered by the programme, ministry sources said.

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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