Millers find conspiracy in rice price hike
Published : Monday, 18 November, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 230
The country's rice millers have smelled conspiracy in sudden hike in the prices of paddy and rice across the country during the paddy harvesting season.
They placed some demands on Sunday to control the paddy and rice prices to the government.
One of the demands includes including delay in implementation of newly enacted Sarak Paribahan Ain (Road Transport Act).
The demands were placed at a meeting of the Directorate General of Food (DG Food) held on Sunday in Khadya Bhaban (DG Food Building) at Abdul Ghani Road in Dhaka.
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder attended the meeting as the Chief Guest.
Food Ministry's Additional Secretary Omar Faruk, DG Food's Director General Dr Nazmanara Khanum and other senior officials of the ministry and DG Food authority attended the meeting.
At the meeting, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder asked the rice millers and traders not to hike the rice price any more to keep the price under the grips of the country's people.
After the meeting, the minister told reporters that despite bumper yield of paddy and having huge stock of food grain in the government warehouses, the price of rice and paddy are being hiked regularly.
"The rice millers have been asked not to hike price of rice any more. They have assured us that they will not increase the price any more this year. They claimed that once the demands are met the price will not be hiked anymore," the minister added.
Sadhan Majumder said people are now consuming fine rice instead of coarse rice changing their food habit. During the season, every maund of paddy was sold at Tk 500 to 700 while now the price is Tk 1000 to 1100.
The fine rice was sold on Sunday at Tk 51.11 per kg. Change of people's food habit has created pressure on fine rice market and hiked rice price.
"The government is buying 6 lakh metric tonnes paddy from local farmers so that they can get price of their paddy. Necessary steps were taken so that farmers don't need to face hassle to supply paddy to godowns," he said.
The authority has been asked to ensure quality of paddy and rice during procurement. No sub-standard paddy or rice would be taken.
He urged the farmers to grow more fine rice so that they get proper price of paddy and rice.
At the meeting Bangladesh Auto-Rice Mills Owners' Association President AKM Khurshid Alam said they don't have shortage of rice in their stock.
They have adequate stock of rice and paddy. However, main problem is the newly introduced Sarak Paribahan Ain.
"If the authority implements the law after two months, the market will remain stable and price of rice and paddy will not go up.
The market is facing volatile situation due to transport crisis. Most of the drivers do not agree to carry food grain as they are scared of death sentence for an accident," he said.
They have also urged the government to reduce price of electricity and bank loan interests. Otherwise, control of food grain market will go to the foreigner traders' hands.