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February 2024

Govt launches drives against rice price hike

Food ministry officials launch a drive to contain rice price hike at Karwan Bazar kitchen market in the capital on Thursday. — New Age photo

The food ministry on Thursday launched drives to contain rice price hike as the prices of the staple grain went up suddenly after the January 7 general election.

Four teams of the ministry conducted the drives in different areas of Dhaka city and warned businessmen not to take high price of rice from consumers.

They also checked the documents and purchasing invoices and asked rice traders to display price charts in stores. 

The drive, however, was seen having lacklustre effects while visiting a spot during a campaign, led by the ministry’s deputy secretary Srabasti Roy in the capital’s Malibagh area.

No one was fined in the drive while Srabasti Roy just warned the traders for displaying price charts.

Messrs Tangail Rice, a shop at Malibagh bazar, was found not displaying the price charts properly, and no purchasing invoice in the shop.

The shop proprietor Md Humayun Kabir Khan told the food ministry team that he left the purchasing invoice at his house.

Srabasti Roy told New Age that they were monitoring the market and not fining anyone for irregularities.

‘We are not conducting mobile court here. So, there is no issue of fine. We are just monitoring the market and making traders aware for not increasing the prices of rice,’ she added.

Earlier on Wednesday, after conducting meeting with rice mill owners, wholesalers, retailers and their representatives, food minister Sadhan Chandra Mazumder gave a four-day ultimatum to them to decrease the prices of rice by Tk 6 per kg.

The minister said that the government would import rice, if necessary.

The ministry deputy secretary Md Lutfur Rahman told New Age that they found two organisations were making extra profit by overcharging consumers.

‘We have warned them not to do so in the future,’ he added. 

Meanwhile, most of the rice traders at Mohammadpur’s Krishi market closed their businesses due to the fear of drives.

Against the backdrop, Sadhan Chandra on Thursday held meeting with the divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners and superintendents of police virtually faor taking steps to reduce the prices of rice and directed to start mobile court from Sunday, the ministry public relations officer Md Kamal Hossain told New Age.

He said that the ministry could not launch mobile courts for not having executive magistrates.

‘We hope that the deputy commissioners will engage magistrates from Sunday to take stern actions against rice traders, who are playing tricks with the prices,’ he added.

According to media reports, the price of rice went up by Tk 6 to Tk 8 a kg over past four days. QR Code

Published Date: January 19, 2024

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