Govt to go for strict monitoring against rice hoarding: Sadhan

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Dhaka, Nov 23: Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder today said the government will run strict monitor against illegal food hoarders in an attempt to make rice procurement a success during the ongoing aman season.

“Illegal hoarders will be brought under strict surveillance in order to make the government’s aman rice procurement trouble-free,” he said.

The food minister made this comment virtually connecting with an internal aman procurement progress review meeting of Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions of 2021-22 from his ministry office here.

He said, “None will be allowed to stock rice without having food grade license. The food grade license holders must have to submit their fortnightly food transaction reports to the authorities concerned.”

Giving strict instructions to the food department officials, the minister said the aman production is comparatively better this year and the government has fixed rationale prices for the aman paddy and rice. “So, the concerned food department officials must be more attentive by designing a concrete plan so that the aman procurement drive would be a success,” he told the meeting.

Sadhan, however, said the concerned food officials have to give explanation if they failed to fulfill the aman procurement target. “More procurement allocations will be given, if necessary, to the officials who will be able to achieve hundred percent procurement target before the stipulated time,” he said.

Terming the northern region as the food granary, the minister said more food would be procured from the region, adding that the food officials must be careful so that none of the growers and the rice mill owners faces harassment during the ongoing food procurement drive.

Drawing attention of the rice mill owners that the country has no shortage of rice, he said yet the government allowed to import as much as 29 lakh tonnes rice in the past, but only 8 lakh tonnes were imported which proved that there is adequate rice stock in the country.

The minister advised the rice mill owners not to think about their own interest only as they have to think about the interest of the consumers too.

He warned the food officials that their irresponsibility regarding rice procurement would not be accepted under any circumstances.

Chaired by Food Secretary Dr Mst Nazmanara Khanum, the programme also was addressed, among others, by Additional Director General of Food Abdullah Al Mamun, Additional Secretary Khawja Abdul Hannan and Divisional Commissioner of Rajshahi Dr Mohammad Humayun Kabir.