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24 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Govt urges millers not to hike rice prices

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka
Govt urges millers not to hike rice prices

The government has urged rice mill owners and wholesale traders not to increase rice prices at this moment, said food minister Shadhan Chandra Majumder yesterday. Paddy is currently being sold below the rate fixed by the government across the country. An emergency meeting was held between the government and rice mill owners at the Directorate General of Food, with the food minister in the chair, yesterday to discuss the sudden hike in prices of rice. The food ministry secretary, director-general of the Directorate General of Food (DGF), and Rice Mill Owners' Association general secretary Layek Ali, among others, were present. Rice mill owners have increased rice prices of rice across the country in the last few days on the plea of 'lack of supply'.

Traders from Mirpur, Mohammadpur Krishi Market, and Badamtoli in the city’s kitchen and wholesale markets said the price of the fine variety of Miniket went up by Tk. 2–3 a kg. It was retailing for Tk. 55–60 a kg and the coarse variety for Tk. 50–52. The Swarna variety was being sold for Tk. 35–36 a kg and BR28 for Tk. 38–40 in the kitchen markets.

The Directorate General of Food (DGF) fixed the price for paddy for Tk. 26 a kg, parboiled rice for Tk. 36, and white rice for Tk. 35. The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) recorded the production cost to be Tk. 21-24 for each kg of paddy this year depending on regions.

“There is no reason to raise rice prices at this moment, despite adequate supply of paddy in the markets. We have

urged rice mill owners and wholesale traders not to increase the prices,” Shadhan Chandra Majumder said.

According to the food minister, paddy is being sold below the rate fixed by the government across the country. So, there

is no reason to sell rice at an increased price, he said.

“The stock position is very good. Besides, we want to ensure a fair price for farmers’ products so that they could be benefited,” the food minister said in reply to a query.

Leaders of rice mill owners said they just increased the price of Miniket rice but not coarse rice. “We are purchasing paddy at a high rate for Miniket rice. So, we have only increased the price of Miniket rice a bit,” Layek Ali informed the meeting.

A total of 15.35 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat were in stock in public godowns as of Tuesday, Shadhan Chandra Majumder said, adding that 12.05 lakh tonnes of rice are available in state-owned warehouses.

According to food ministry sources, the annual demand for rice is about 28,416,710 metric tonnes in the country.

It is alleged that rice mill owners have increased the prices through syndication despite adequate supply of paddy in the markets.

There has been an increase of about Tk. 100 per 50-kg sack of Rashid Miniket rice, traders told this correspondent.

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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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