Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi yesterday urged the rice millers and wholesale traders across the country not to indulge in any unscrupulous means which might lead to soaring of rice price affecting the members of lower-income group. The minister made this call while addressing as the chief guest at a view-exchange meeting between him and rice millers and rice traders at Khadya Bhaban in the city.
"The rice millers and traders should be more careful in running their businesses to avert any possible inconvenience of the common people due to their brisk business," he said. Terming the businessmen as the life-line of the country, the minister advised them not to resort to any unethical means which may lead to soaring rice price.
Commerce Secretary Mofizul Haq spoke the function as the special guest while Food Minister Shadan Chandra Majumder chaired it. The food minister said the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working to ensure self-sufficiency in food production as the country now has a food stock of 13.60 lakh metric tons.
To ensure the fair price of rice for the farmers, the food minister advised the food department to revise the rice procurement date as the food department usually fixes the Aman procurement date on December 1 while the farmers complete the harvest in the first week of November. Turning down the media reports of hike of rice price, the commerce secretary said there is no scope of increasing rice price as the country already has had a good Aman production along with adequate stock of rice.
Representatives of the rice mills owners and traders attributed excessive import of the staple food and untimely government rice procurement to higher rice price in the country. Nirod Boron Saha Chandan, a rice trader of Naogaon area, told the meeting that the country witnessed 10 lakh metric tonnes of food deficit officially last due to flash flood in the haor areas.
The country imported approximately 38 lakh metric tonnes of rice which subsequently soared the local rice price, he added. Major auto-rice mills owners and rice traders from across the country attended the meeting.
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