The government’s open market sale of rice has failed to achieve its target as consumers are reluctant to buy Atap rice (rice milled from sun dried paddy) selling at the OMS outlets across the country for Tk 30 a kilogram.
Though the government claimed that it was providing finest quality of Atap rice
under the OMS programme, the consumers said that Bangladeshi people were habituated with the parboiled rice.
Representatives of dealers said that despite doubling the OMS rice price people were interested to buy parboiled rice but not Atap rice.
‘We are passing idle time as there is no customer in our outlets. A few customers but not poor people are visiting our outlets and buying Atap rice for making delegacy food,’ Sayed Bin Kawser, representative of OMS dealer at Kanthal Bagan in Dhaka, told New Age on Tuesday.
He said that many customers were purchasing atta from the outlet for Tk 17 a kg, he said.
Sayed said that the government allocated 1 tonne of rice per day for each truck in the city but they failed to sell the 1 tonne in the past two days.
Another representative of dealer at Hatirpool Bazar said that they incurred loss with the poor sale of rice and they faced trouble to pay the salesmen and truck fare.
He said that the government should allocate parboiled rice for OMS programme as people in Chittagong and Sylhet regions only were habituated to take Atap rice.
Shukuron Bibi, a 70-year widow, came to Kanthal Bagan OMS outlet to buy rice but inspecting the rice she refrained.
‘Do the country people consume Atap rice? We use it only for delegacies. If the government wants to help the poor, it should provide parboiled rice,’ she said.
Food minister Md Qamrul Islam said that the government was providing ‘finest quality’ of atap rice under OMS programme but at the primary stage people could not understand its quality.
‘I hope people will make long queue in front of OMS outlets shortly to buy the rice,’ Qamrul said.
The government on Sunday started open market sale of coarse varieties of rice for Tk 30 per kg across the divisional towns in the awake of recent surge in price of the staple food.
The OMS price of rice doubled from the previous price, Tk 15 per kg, but the price of atta remained unchanged at Tk 17 per kg.
According to statistics of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the prices of rice increased by Tk 8-10 a kg in the past one week and fine varieties were selling for Tk 68 a kg while the coarse varieties of rice for Tk 54 a kg.
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