Bangladesh government will launch the open market sale (OMS) of rice at Tk 15 per kilogramme from next week across the divisional and district towns.
Food Minister Qamrul Islam made the announcement of the subsidised staple sale at a press conference arranged at his ministry office this afternoon.
Also, he announced of distributing rice among 50 lakh ultra-poor households at a further subsidised rate of Tk 10 per kilogramme from September 20.
The rice will be distributed according to a policy in the rural poor at union levels during the lean periods of September-November and March-April.
Food Minister Qamrul Islam said that a total of 1 crore metric tonnes of rice is currently stashed in storages across the country and ruled out any scope of food shortage.
Minister urges no politics with rice
Food Minister Quamrul Islam on Thursday asked the mill owners and businesspeople to stop doing politics over rice in the country, adds UNB.
"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."
Besides, a meeting is scheduled to be held with the mill owners and traders on September 19 over the issue, he added.