We are concerned over the unusual increase in rice price despite bumper yield of paddy this year. Per kg coarse variety of rice is now being sold at Taka 52 while the price of fine and medium varieties also continues showing an upward trend over the last few weeks.
An unholy nexus of mill owners, importers and hoarders have deliberately increased the price of the main staple food through syndication when the country’s common people have been facing economic hardship caused by Coronavirus pandemic. They hoarded a large volume of paddy during the harvesting season and now they are creating an artificial crisis in order to make the rice price unstable in the market across the country.
Such abnormal rise in rice price cannot be accepted and tolerated at all as the procurement prices have been ascertained rationally during this year. The intelligence agency identifying a hoarding syndicate behind the rice price spiral, had suggested the government to take stern actions against them.
The government should take immediate
actions against the mill owners involved in
hiking the rice price
A study of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies says 50 large mills have the capacity to influence the supply and prices of the staple food. In 2017 the government had also blacklisted 16,000 rice millers for hoarding in an effort to manipulate price. Currently, the country has over 3, 5000 auto rice mills and 18,500 rice mills.
The government should take prompt action against the unholy nexus of hoarders and intensify the activities of the market monitoring committees immediately alongside taking all-out initiatives to keep the staple food price at tolerable level. Besides, the rice mill owners must deposit their rice to the government silos in time according to the deal.
We also think the businessmen will refrain themselves from such immoral and unethical profit and not try to destabilise the rice market during this crisis. Besides, the authorities concerned will have to launch special drives against illegal rice hoarders immediately to keep rice prices stable to protect the interest of the consumers.
The government should again conduct investigation to find out the reasons behind the unusual increase in the price of rice. We believe all mill-owners and traders will show humane attitude towards consumers while the government will never compromise with profiteers and illegal hoarders.