BNP senior leader Abdullah Al Noman has alleged that the rice prices have marked an unusual rise as the government has failed to stockpile enough food grains.
“Rice prices are going up abnormally as its supply is very poor against its demand. The government was supposed to keep the stock of at least 10 lakh metric tonnes of food grains, but it has only 2.13 lakh metric tonnes. It’s the main cause behind the soaring prices of rice,” he said.
Noman, a former food minister, came up with the comment on Thursday while speaking at a discussion programme at the Jatiya Press Club arranged by Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Karmajibi Dal.
He said the government could have imported rice and reduced import duty on it to ensure its good supply in the market.
The BNP leader said government godowns are now empty due to the government’s wrong policy to procure rice and sell it under OMS injudiciously.
He suggested the government to withdraw the import duty on rice and procure the staple quickly from the neighbouring country to arrest the unbridled rice prices with increasing its supply, reports UNB.
Earlier at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi blamed ruling party-backed business syndicate for the soaring prices of rice.
“The rice prices didn’t come down though traders at a meeting with ministers assured of reducing that by Tk 2-3 per kg from Wednesday. This government has nothing to deliver, except issuing threats and showing arrogance,” he said.
The BNP leader said coarse rice is still being sold at Tk 55 while fine ones at Tk 65-70 as the ministers’ meeting with rice traders has no impact on the market.
Rizvi also alleged that the silos have become empty as the ruling party men looted those in the name of government’s programme to sell rice at Tk 10 per kg. “They (AL men) bought the rice at Tk 10 and sold that at high prices in the black market.”
He urged the government to take effective steps to bring the rice prices within the reach of common people.