Open Market Sale (OMS) of rice bring no impact on rice prices in local markets as most of the OMS outlets are being set up in the town and upazila headquarters, depriving the poor living in the remote and river basin areas.
As a result, people living in the bordering Teesta and Dharla river basin areas, who do not have the ability to buy rice at high prices, are deprived of the OMS facilities.
Low quality rice was selling at Tk 43 to Tk 45 per kg while medium quality at Tk 48 to Tk 52 and fine quality at Tk 55 to Tk 60 in the local market, which is beyond the reach of the poverty-stricken people in the area.
“We are purchasing paddy at high prices and it may continue till the middle of November,” said Shahin Islam, a rice mill owner in Kaliganj.
Farm labourer Fazlar Rahman, 56, of Gobordha area in Aditmari upazila, said he has no alternative but to buy the rice from local market as there is no OMS outlet in his locality.
“It is quite impossible for me to buy OMS rice from the upazila headquarters which is about 18 kilometres from my village,” Fazlar added.
“Vulnerable group and ultra poor people lives in char areas, but the OMS outlets are being set up in the town, depriving us from the government scheme,” farmer Mozaharul Islam, 58, of Bowalmari village in Dharla river basin area, said.
Sources at District Food Controller's office said one kg of OMS rice is selling for Tk 30 at 17 OMS outlets in the district.
Of those, five outlets are set up in the town, and three each in four other upazilas of the district.
Abdus Salam Miah, acting district food controller in Lalmonirhat, said, “If we receive any letter from the authorities concerned, we will increase allocation of rice and extend OMS outlet in rural areas.”