The government is going to launch food friendly programme (FFP) for 50 lakh poor families across the country from March 1.
“The government will provide 30kgs of rice monthly at a cost of Taka 15 per kg, to 50 lakh poor families under FFP which would be launched on Wednesday (March 1)”, Food Minister Sadhan Chandar Majumder said this while talking to the media after inspecting an Open Market Sale (OMS) programme at Atapotti and Rubir Mor area in Naogaon.
Side by side, the minister said OMS is an ongoing programme-- It will continue as long as there is demand for it. If necessary it will continue throughout the year, he said adding that both rice and flour will be provided under the programme.
"Although OMS is not a year-long programme, it was undertaken so that low-income people would not suffer. That's why we are still running the programme.
What we want to see is whether people are getting benefit and whether any dealer is smuggling.
For this reason, inspection and monitoring will continue," said the minister.
Rajshahi Regional Food Controller GM Farooq Hossain Patwar and Naogaon District Food Controller Alamgir Hossain were present among others at that time.
He also said the food stock in government warehouses has exceeded all previous records, adding that Bangladesh currently has more than 21 lakh tonnes of food stock against the safety stock of 10 lakh tonnes.
Currently, the government is distributing around 14000–15000 tonnes of rice and flour per day across the country.
According to the minister, other food assistance programmes (Kabikha, VGF,TR) will also run alongside OMS.
"So there is nothing to panic about. There will be no food shortage in the country," he added.
The minister issued a warning to the traders not to stockpile food items for financial gain at the expense of the people.
"New laws are being enacted. Cases have already been filed against many groups. Surveillance has been increased," he said.
Meanwhile, the people who came to collect food items under the programme, said that the allocation is less than the demand.
The minister assured the people that their problems would be taken into account.