The government could not resume its open market sales of rice in Dhaka and most other places in the country on Sunday as it could not complete necessary formalities.
The government on Thursday had announced resumption of the OMS from Sunday as rice prices leaped by one per cent to three per cent depending on verities over last month.
Food director general Badrul Hasan told New Age that they could not start the sales in most parts of the country, including in the capital Dhaka, as they did not get enough time to complete necessary formalities.
He, however, said the OMS of rice began in parts of Chittagong and Sylhet.
‘We hope people will get rice at all OMS outlets from Monday,’ said Badrul.
The OMS of rice was supposed to resume at 810 centres across the country, down to the district-level, according to Badrul.
Government offers a kilogram of rice at Tk 30. The current market price for per kilogram of coarse rice is Tk 47.
A person will be allowed to buy a maximum of five kilograms of rice in a day at OMS outlets.
The government has decided to continue the scheme for two months.
Dhaka Rationing chief controller Tapan Kumar Das said they release rice for running OMS outlets only after Bangladesh Bank would confirm that it had received money from dealers against their allocation.
‘The process usually takes a day to be completed,’ said Tapan, explaining that they got a single working day (Sunday) for doing official works following the government announcement.
A dealer is supposed to deposit Tk 28,500 against his daily allocation of one tonne rice.
In Dhaka, 120 dealers will be engaged in running the OMS shops.
Delwar Hossain, who works for a Moghbazar-based dealer, said they were reluctant to run OMS outlets for a low profit margin.
He said a dealer makes only Tk 1,500 after a day’s sale, but the expenditure crosses Tk 3,000.
‘Why should a dealer be interested in OMS business?’ said Delwar.
The government plans to sell 44,000 kilograms of rice through OMS shops in March and April.
The OMS is a government intervention to keep market prices of rice within people’s purchasing ability.
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