Food minister Quamrul Islam on Wednesday assured all that the prices of coarse rice would not go up further during the current aman season although a quarter was active to increase the price at retail level.
‘A section of dishonest traders are trying to enhance the prices of coarse variety of rice. But it is for sure that they will not succeed during the current aman season,’ the minister said after a meeting with leaders of the Rice Mill Owners’ Association at the secretariat.
He admitted that the coarse rice was selling Tk 1-1.5 higher than the government rate of Tk 33 a kg.
The minister, however, said that the market price of the staple was still within the purchasing capacity of the common people.
He said that the rice import from India came down to 37,000 tonnes in last one year from 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh tonnes a year back due to duty imposed by the government on the import of rice.
Quamrul asserted that the import duty on rice would not be withdrawn to protect the country’s rice growers.
A section of traders is out to make the market unstable so that the government withdraws the duty on rice import. We will not give them any such chance. The import duty on rice will not go,’ he said.
The minister said the government had already achieved its target of procuring 3 lakh tonnes of aman rice. The procurement would continue till March 15, he added.
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