A BNP leader urged the government not to deprive farmers and to accept the demands of jute mill workers
The BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) has announced a two-day program to demand that the government ensure fair prices of paddy and clear all the arrears of jute mill workers.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programme at a press conference, held at the party’s Naya Paltan central office on Sunday, reports UNB.
As part of the program, the party will submit memorandums to deputy commissioners across the country on May 21, while its leaders and activists will form human chains at all union-level haat bazaars on May 23 to press for their demands.
Rizvi criticized Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque for ruling out the possibility of raising the government's food grain procurement prices, despite the serious resentment among farmers over falling paddy prices.
The BNP leader alleged that the government is depriving farmers of fair prices for their produce only to create a scope for ruling partymen to make money.
Rizvi said: “The farmers are setting fire to their own paddy fields in different parts of the country, including Tangail, Joypurhat and Netrokona, as they have been counting a loss of Tk300 per maund due to the price fall.”
“Though the loan defaulters are getting huge debt waivers and thousands of crores of taka are being plundered in the name of mega projects, the government is depriving the farmers of fair prices for their crops, let alone giving them subsidy,” he added.
The BNP leader said the government fixed the procurement rate of per maund (40kg) paddy at Tk1,040, but the farmers are being forced to sell their harvest to middlemen at Tk450 to Tk500 per maund. “Local Awami league leaders, mill owners and officials concerned are pocketing the rest of the money, depriving the farmers.”
He urged the government to procure paddy directly from farmers instead of mill owners.
About the ongoing movement of workers of 22 state-run jute mills, he said all the demands of the workers, including clearing all their arrears and implementing their new pay scale, are justified.
He also urged the government to immediately accept the demands of the jute mill workers.