Finance minister AMA Muhith on Sunday said the government wanted to raise the price of rice slightly to support the country's farmers, but where it stands now is intolerable.
“The increasing price of rice, where it has reached, is intolerable. The volume of the recent hike is abnormal. The rise in the price of coarse rice to more than Tk50 per kg is causing difficulties for some people. The price has risen too much,” the minister said responding to reporters' queries at his office in the secretariat while accepting a profit check of Grameen Bank.
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“It is not possible right now to determine by what percentage poverty has risen due to the price hike of rice. However, it is true that this has caused a lot of difficulties for ordinary people. The price will go down in the future when rice production increases,” said Muhith.
A recent report by South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (Sanem), released on Saturday, said incredible rise in price of rice has resulted in 5.2 lakh people becoming unable to afford the staple food. It has resulted in a 0.32% increase in poverty rate, the report said.
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According to Sanem, the amount of rice imported in last three months of ongoing fiscal year is five times higher than the rice imported during the whole fiscal 2016-17.
When the matter was brought to Muhit’s attention, he said: “These are instant reports. People should not believe them. Figuring out the increase or decrease in the number of poor people require a study of at least a year's worth of data.”