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Dhaka Tribune

Open market sale starts Aug 22 as rice prices rise

Update : 21 Aug 2013, 08:37 PM

The government is introducing Open Market Sale (OMS) for rice from today (August 22) due to the price hike of rice, especially the coarse varieties, in the last seven days, which is a second hike in two months.

“We are introducing OMS for coarse rice with the price of Tk24 per kg from tomorrow considering the suffering of the low income group people,” said Ahmed Hossain Khan, director general of Food Division.

The OMS programme will run across the country that includes six divisional towns Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barisal, Comilla City Corporation and most labour intensive areas - Dhaka, Joydevpur, Narayonganj and Norshingdi.

Each family will be allowed to buy five kilograms of rice per day and the programme will continue until rice becomes more affordable to low income groups, he added.

Wednesday, the price of coarse rice in wholesale markets was Tk34.70 per kg while the price in retail markets was Tk36, according to the Department of Agriculture Marketing.

During the beginning of July, the wholesale price of coarse rice in Dhaka City was Tk30.60 per kg and the retail price was Tk32.50. However, in the retail markets of Dhaka the price of coarse rice has been at Tk37 which is Tk9 more than the previous year’s price in the same period.

Hike in the prices of rice, especially for the coarse varieties, has had negative impacts on the low income people in the country.

“The situation goes beyond the ability of poor people like me,” said Ahad Ali, a rickshaw puller, living in the city’s Bashabo area.

“A rise in the price of rice by Tk4-5 in a week is a burden for me,” he added.

Rice prices have been gradually increasing this year since the very beginning of the Boro harvest, said Nirod Baran Saha, president of the Rice Dealers Association in Naogaon.

The price of coarse rice at mill gates is now Tk31.20 per kg which was Tk24.65 last year, he added.  

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