The coronavirus pandemic has pushed a large number of people below the poverty line, limiting the economic activities of people to a great extent. Consequently, new challenges to earning livelihood and survival have arisen for the poor during the worst-ever crisis of the century. Since the beginning of the epidemic, the government has been facing a tough time to balance between life and livelihood. To keep the marginalised people afloat, they took different steps, including selling essential products at reasonable prices while imposing a lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. In this time, rice prices have been soared up, albeit the country witnessed a record-high production of Boro paddy in the last season.
A report in this daily’s yesterday issue said that the price of all varieties of rice has gone up in the retail market in the last few weeks, triggering off sufferings of the poor. It is learnt that most of the paddy shares are now stocked by the middlemen and mill owners who create an artificial crisis and increase rice prices to make an unjust profit. While a humane approach from the well-off people to stand by the poor as per everyone’s ability becomes the demand of time, these greedy businessmen cannot control their never-ending lust for personal gain. These middlemen have actually created a horrible syndicate in the rice market and cheated both the farmers and the consumers. While the farmers get low prices during the harvesting time of paddy, the consumers have to pay unreasonable prices all the year round.