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February 2024

Rice traders flee leaving shops sensing presence of mobile court

Many rice traders hastily abandoned their shops in Dhaka’s Shah Ali Market when a team from the food ministry started raiding godowns there on Saturday as part of drives against hoarding of rice and soaring prices.

Two mobile courts of the food ministry conducted raids in the capital’s Shah Ali and Badda markets this morning in a bid to keep the abnormal price hike of rice under control.

During the drives, the mobile court officials claimed that a majority of the traders lacked proper receipts for their rice purchases. If there is a receipt, there is no match with the price written in the price list.

While talking to the Daily Sun, Joynal Abedin, deputy secretary of the food ministry, said that the government is committed to preventing any manipulation in the country’s rice market. “We will be continuing our drive until the rice market comes to a stable state.”        

Responding to a query, he said, “Many rice shops were kept closed during the operation but no matter, we will again conduct our drives.”

When asked about the outcome of the drive, he said the prices of rice have started declining at the wholesale level and it is expected to take an additional two to three days for this impact to be reflected in the retail market.

Besides during the drive at Shah Ali market, most of the rice traders fled leaving their sops abandoned sensing the presence of the mobile court.

While talking to the reporters, Marjina Akhter, deputy secretary of the food ministry, said that all places related to the food business are being raided. And appropriate action will be taken wherever irregularities are found, she added.

The prices of all varieties of rice have surged by Tk 6 to Tk 12 per kg since the 12th parliamentary election, and the consumers find the continued upward trend during the amon crops harvesting season to be unusual.

The price of miniket and BR-28 has increased by Tk.6 per kg in the market. Miniket is being sold at Tk 60 to Tk 74 depending on the quality and BR-28 is being sold at Tk 50 to Tk 60 per kg.

Against the backdrop of the evolving situation, the Directorate General of Food (DG Food) on 16 January formed four teams to oversee the rice market and the Open Market Sale (OMS) activities across the capital Dhaka.

The teams will work to prevent unsolicited price hikes of rice and to bring transparency in the OMS activities, added the circular.

The team will inspect at least four OMS or truck sale activities and two markets in the capital every day to make its efforts successful. QR Code

Published Date: January 21, 2024

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