Despite sufficient production and stock, prices of all medium and fine verities of rice have increased across the country by at least Tk 2 to Tk 5 per kilogram.
Government policymakers have said that there is no logical reason for such price hike as the farmers produced a satisfactory amount of rice this year.
However, traders are claiming that as there is less supply against the market demand, price of rice is gradually increasing. But rejecting the traders claim of price increase, consumers said that the traders just need excuses to increase price of such necessary item. They also blamed lack of proper monitoring for the uncontrolled price hike.
Visiting the capital’s different rice markets this correspondent found the allegation of price hike of rice to be genuine. Girasail quality of rice which was sold at Tk 36 per kilogram a few days ago, now sold at Tk 40 per kilogram (kg). Sorna quality of rice is sold Tk 30 per kg from its previous price of Tk 27 per kg a few days ago, Katarivog quality of rice is sold at Tk 52 from its previous price of Tk 50 and Paijam quality of rice is sold at Tk 52 from its previous price of Tk 49 per kg.
On condition of anonymity, a rice trader in Badamtoli-Babu Bazar, one of the biggest grain markets in the city, said “During the cyclone (Bulbul) suppliers had informed us over the phone that, rice supply will be in short supply due to rough weather. Which apparently affected on the rice trade in the capital.”
KM Liyakat Ali, general secretary of Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mill Owners Association, “It's true that rice laden truck movement was fewer due to the storm, but there is question of rice crisis across the capital.
Ali also said that, as the government is ready to purchase Aman paddy at Tk 26, which they used to buy at Tk 15 now have to purchase at Tk 20-22. This can be a reason for the sudden price hike.
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder told media that, there is no deficit of rice supply in the country. During the natural disaster, the government strictly monitored the food grains supply in the country. Allegations of supply shortages are baseless.
According to a recent meeting on food grains storage, it was learnt that till October of this fiscal (2019-2020) the government has storage of 16.53 lakh tonnes of rice stock which is now 12.83 lakh tonnes.