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February 2024

Rice price still high despite drives

Food minister orders authorities to fine rice hoarders

Prices of different varieties of rice are still dearer despite drives and the food minister’s warning to bring down the staple food price.

The food ministry on Thursday realised Tk 6,35,500 as fines from millers, wholesalers and retailers for hoarding rice illegally, unauthorised business and selling rice for high prices, said the ministry press release. 

The price of rice that increased by up to Tk 8 per kilogram immediately after the January 7 general election remained more or less the same, traders said.

They, however, said that the price of one or two varieties dropped by Tk 1 or 2 per kilogram.

At Krishi Market in the capital’s Mohammadpur area, M/S Barishal Rice Agency proprietor Syed Monirul Islam Montu, a wholesale trader, told New Age that prices of the most rice varieties remained static.

‘The prices that went up ranging from Tk 6 to Tk 8 per kilogram after the election remained the same at the moment. Only a few varieties of rice prices came down to Tk 1 or Tk 2 per kilogram,’ he added.

Against the backdrop, food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder directed the authorities concerned to fine rice hoarders equal to their stock or sue them to ensure that they could no longer continue business, New Age correspondent in Rajshahi reported.

‘Her [prime minister Sheikh Hasina] straight direction is that there is no issue about fine. If a fine is to be imposed, fine a hoarder as he has stocked so that he can no longer continue business. And if not, sue him and send to jail. This is the directive of the Bangladesh government,’ he said on the day.

The minister came with the directive while addressing a divisional level view-sharing meeting with stakeholders related to controlling the rice price hike at the conference hall of the Rajshahi deputy commissioner’s office.

In Dhaka, the government officials found the mismatch between the sales rate in the price charts and purchasing invoices in Dhaka, said officials.

Food ministry conducted a drive in the capital’s Jatrabari bazar area led by the ministry deputy secretary Ariful Islam and they fined a trader Tk 5,000 for selling rice at higher prices than the purchasing prices.

‘The trader bought rice at a lower price in December and was selling it at a higher price. We fined the trader,’ Ariful told New Age.

He said that they found most of the traders were not interested to show the purchasing invoices.

‘We urge them to include the purchasing rate alongside the selling rates in the price charts hung on their shops,’ he added. QR Code

Published Date: January 26, 2024

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