Dhaka, September 14: A vested quarter is involved in playing tricks and politics to increase rice price by creating artificial crisis in the country.Besides, the government has decided to start OMS activities across the country from Sunday, while food-friendly programme to begin from September 20.
Food Minister Qamrul Islam told this while talking to journalists during a press briefing held at the secretariat on Thursday.
The minister asked the mill owners and businesspeople to stop doing politics over rice in the country.
“Some people are involved in creating an artificial rice crisis to embarrass the government,” the minister told a press briefing at the Secretariat.
Issuing a note of warning to rice millers, Quamrul said, “Still, there’s time. Stop doing politics over the issue.”
Besides, he asked media people to stop reporting on rice price hike which creates confusion among people.
This year, the government has set a target to produce 1.91 crore metric tons of Boro paddy but 20 lakh metric tons of rice have been damaged by the recent floods in the haor areas of the country, which creates an unusual situation in the rice market, he added.
However, some 6 lakh mts of rice have been imported from India under private arrangement, said Quamrul adding “There’ll be no shortage of rice as we have got 1.92 lakh mts of rice from our country.”
He said the government has imported 2.5 lakh mts rice from Vietnam of which 1.54 lakh mts have been unloaded.
Besides, the process of importing 2.5 lakh mts rice from Cambodia is underway, he said.
Responding to a question over India’s ban on rice export to Bangladesh, Quamrul said, “I’ve found no authenticity of the news after talking to the High Commission concerned.”
The government will open the OMS service from Sunday next across the country where one kg rice will be sold at Tk 15 while wheat at Tk 17, he said.
Besides, a meeting is scheduled to be held with the mill owners and traders on September 19 over the issue, he added.