Minister for tougher action
Staff Correspondent: The price of rice suddenly increased after the election. Although now there is no shortage of rice in the market. The price of rice is expected to decrease due to the arrival of Aman paddy in the market a month ago. But the market picture is completely opposite. In a span of 10 days, the price of rice has increased by Tk 4 to Tk 5 per kg in the retail market. Retailers are blaming millers for the sudden price hike. Denying this responsibility, the millers say that the supply of paddy in the market has decreased, along with the price has increased. Apart from this, they also claimed that the price of rice is increasing due to the weather. Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder, however, pointed to hoarding. He said, those who are stocking paddy will not be exempted.
As the price of rice suddenly increased, the Ministry of Food launched four monitoring teams to control the market.
They visited OMS trucks and shops in different areas as well as markets. They inspected Babu Bazar, Kawran Bazar, Mohammadpur Agricultural Market and New Market yesterday. However, no irregularities were seen in the increase in the price of rice in these markets, the officials responsible for supervision said, no stocks of rice were found with retail and wholesale sellers. They are requested to clearly mention the purchase price and sale price list. Officials in charge of monitoring also said that the retailers cited manipulation by the millers as the reason for the increase in the price of rice. Good quality narrow rice is now being sold at Tk 70 to Tk 72 in the retail market. However, some thin rice is also available at Tk 66 to Tk 68. The price of rice sold as Nazir or Katari Nazir ranges from Tk 78 to Tk 85.
In a span of 10 days, these rice prices have increased from Tk 4 to Tk 5 per kg. The price of medium sized rice has increased and is being sold at Tk 54 to Tk 56 per kg. And coarse rice is being sold at Tk50 to Tk52 with an increase of Tk1-2. Rafiqul Islam, the owner of New Noorani Rice Agency in Basabo Bazar of the capital, said that the price has been increased on the occasion of the election. Since the election, the market has increased prices. Forkan store owner Forkan said, we have to buy good quality miniket rice in the wholesale market for Tk68 to Tk70. It can’t be sold for less than Tk70 to Tk72. Other rice prices are also higher than before.
Millers say that the reason for the increase in the price of rice even in the full season is that even though it is the season of rice, big mill owners and corporate organizations have bought and stored rice. Due to the lack of supply in the market, the price of rice has increased. So, the price of rice also increased. Moreover, due to the current climate, the paddy owners are not able to dry rice due to lack of heat from the sun. That’s why the price may increase. Rabiul Islam, the owner of Messrs Rabiul Auto Rice Mill in Bogra, said that the largest rice mill owners of the country have taken away hundreds of trucks from the rice market as soon as they came down to Aman rice market. As a result, there is a shortage of rice in the market. Apart from this, illegal hoarders have also created an artificial shortage of rice in the market by hoarding rice. At present paddy worth Tk 1200 has to be bought at the rate of Tk 1350 to Tk 1370. As a result, the price of rice has also increased in the market. Aminul Islam, president of Bogra’sShibganj Upazila Rice Mill Owners Association told that due to bad weather, rice mill owners are not able to dry rice, as a result of which the supply of rice in the market is decreasing. Because of this, the price of rice has increased slightly. Arafat Mamun, managing director of Suvarna Agro Food in Khajanagar, Kushtia, said, “Our rice has to be bought at a higher price, the rice traders are increasing the price by syndicating. If the price of paddy did not increase, the price of rice would not increase. General Secretary of Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mill Owners Association Kushtia branch Zainal Abedin Pradhan said that the price of paddy has increased from Tk 180 to Tk 200 per maund. The price of paddy which was previously Tk1,420 per maund, now has to be bought at Tk1,680. Millers are buying paddy at a higher price so the price of rice is also higher.
Meanwhile, food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said yesterday to the illegal traders that there is no way to give exemption to those who are stocking thousands of maunds of rice without license in the name of traders. Even if you are a mill owner, if you have stock of paddy then there is no way to exempt you too. Even my father has no choice. He said these things in the conference room of the Food Directorate to prevent the increase in the market of paddy and rice.
The food minister said that a team has already been formed for market monitoring and said that the control room has been opened and our operation is underway. The campaign will be conducted from 11:30 am today in 8 divisions of the country. The operation is already underway. Whoever is found with illegal stock in the operation will be brought under the law.
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