All the twelve Open Market Sale (OMS) outlets in the town reopened yesterday after being closed for around one month as there was no allocation of ata (coarse flour) by the ministry concerned during that period.
The ultra poor people from slums, remote villages and char areas crowded around the OMS outlets to purchase ata at fair price.
Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila Food Controller (UCF) Ayub Ali told this correspondent that ata is being sold at fair prices to ultra poor people from the OMS outlets as they got the fresh allocation order from the ministry concerned. “The OMS outlets were closed as no allocation was issued for a month,” he said, adding that the outlets will remain open until the government orders them to be closed.
Rokonuzzaman Roman, an OMS dealer at Saptana Road in the town, said nearly 2,000 to 2,500 low-income group people from the slums, chars and remote areas buy ata from 12 OMS outlets in the town every day. Each beneficiary can buy 1 kg to 5 kg of ata at Tk 18 per kg from the OMS outlets, he said.
Nader Ali, 52, a day labourer at Kazi Colony in the town, said they are happy now as they can buy ata at Tk 18 per kg, while it is sold at Tk 30 per kg in the local market. “We were upset when the OMS outlets were closed,” he said.
Rahela Bewa, 48, of Char Shiberkuti in Sadar upazila, said she comes from 15 km away for buying ata at fair prices from OMS outlet. “I purchase ata two days in every week,” she said, adding that OMS ata benefits them.
Lalmonirhat Marketing Officer Abdur Rahim said ata prices will fall in the local market as the OMS outlets have started selling ata at fair prices. “Ata prices jumped suddenly when OMS outlets were closed for the last one month,” he said.