Prices of rice witnessed about 30 per cent hike in past one year and still the prices of the staple showed no sign of decreasing.
According to the government statistics, the prices of rice in last one month increased by up to 3.85 per cent.
According to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the prices of standard varieties of najirshail and miniket rice increased by 27.08 per cent to Tk 60-62 a kilogram in last one year while the prices of the varieties rose by 1.67 per cent in one month.
Data show that the prices of fine varieties of najirshail and miniket rice increased by 27.36 per cent to Tk 65-70 a kg in last one year.
The prices of the varieties in the last one month increased by 3.85 per cent.
Though the TCB data show the prices of fine varieties of najirshail and miniket at Tk 65-70 a kilogram, in many cases the items are sold at Tk 68-72 a kg in the city.
The TCB data show that the prices of coarse varieties of rice (swarna/China) increased by 18.18 per cent to Tk 44-47 a kg in last one year while the prices increased by 1.11 per cent in last one month.
According to the food ministry, the prices of coarse varieties of rice started to soar in the retail market from March last year and the prices increased to Tk 41.50 from Tk 33.21 a kg in mid-September.
The prices of coarse varieties of rice rose to Tk 50-52 a kg in November and the prices decreased slightly in December due to import of rice and sufficient production of aman.
The prices of rice would remain high for one more month and the prices might decrease in May after starting the harvesting season of boro paddy, said Syed Manirul Islam, proprietor of Barisal Rice Agency at Mohammadpur Krishi Market in the capital.
He said that the rice imported from India was being sold at lower prices than the local varieties but consumers were
showing little interest for the items due to variation in taste.
Amid the price hike of rice, the government has decided to start open market sales of coarse rice from Sunday with a view to intervene the market of the staple.
Under the OMS programme, the government would sell rice at Tk 30 per kilogram and it would continue until the harvest of boro beginning in May.
According to the food ministry, the current stock of rice is over 11.12 lakh tonnes.
Food minister Quamrul Islam on Thursday told New Age that the government was going to start OMS against the backdrop of continued increase in the prices of rice.
The minister hoped that the OMS would create an impact on the rice market.