The Food Ministry has decided to test the standard of the wheat imported from Brazil in last two months to be sure whether those are really sub-standard or not.
According to sources, to test the wheat the ministry has already collected samples from the government warehouses in 17 districts, where those are kept. The samples were sent to the standard testing laboratories of the country on Thursday.
More samples are being collected from other districts. The deputy commissioners of the districts are instructed to collect the samples of wheat sending magistrates in the warehouses, sources claimed.
The initiatives were taken while allegations were brought against the high officials of the Ministry and Directorate General of Food (DG Food) for buying and supplying the sub-standard or rotten wheat.
When contacted, Food Minister Qamrul Islam on Thursday told the Daily Observer, "Though the Ministry is not responsible for the procurement of the wheat, we have taken necessary steps to confirm its standard by testing in the laboratories."
"We have collected samples from different districts by sending magistrates. Those were sent to laboratories for test. The DCs of other districts are also instructed to collect samples from other warehouses. Those would be sent to the laboratories," said the Minister and added that punitive actions would be taken after being confirmed about its standard.
Those people, who are involved with the procurement process of the wheat, would be brought to justice, if those were found sub-standard. But, no comments should be passed before getting the testing result in hand, he further added.
Blaming failure for buying wheat under government to government (G2G) arrangement from the Ukraine for the wheat scam, Qamrul said, "The actual reason of the recent crisis is buying wheat from Brazil. We had no idea about the wheat of Brazil. But, we had to buy it from the country while the stock wheat declined to only 67,000 metric tons."
He said that two foreign companies, Impex International and Olam International, had become responsive as lowest bidder while the government floated tender for buying 2 lakh tonnes of wheat expensing around Tk400 crore. They were given award for supplying the wheat.
The Ministry has given its attention to the issue while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the authority to investigate the matter and take punitive steps against those responsible.