Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder on Sunday warned that stern action will be taken against those who will try to destabilise the rice market in the country.
The condition in the rice market must be monitored as well as make the Boro paddy procurement drive a success, he said in a virtual view-exchange meeting on ‘Boro 2022 season’s internal procurement and market monitoring’ at the secretariat.
“If any attempt is made to destablise the rice market action will be taken against those involved in it irrespective of their party affiliation,” he warned.
There is an unhealthy competition among traders to buy and hoard paddy thinking that it to be profitable but it will not bring good results, said the minister.
Thinking that Russia-Ukraine war may trigger food crisis in Bangladesh, many are hoarding paddy illegally, said Nirod Baran Saha Chandan, president of the Naogaon Paddy and Rice Wholesale Traders’ Association, at the meeting.
Noting that new rice is not coming to the market yet, Sadhan Chandra said the rice that is available in the market now is last year’s old rice.
“So where is the new rice going?” he asked the mill owners.
He also directed the mill owners to report to the officials concerned of the food department on how much paddy is bought by whom and who is marketing how much rice after crushing.
Various corporate houses have started rice business, he said adding they are buying and packaging rice and selling those in the market at higher prices.
The minister also directed the officials of the food department to hold a meeting as soon as possible with the corporate houses involved in rice business.
Meanwhile, many countries of the world including India have sent letters expressing interest to export wheat to Bangladesh, he said.
The food minister also said nor’westers have damaged paddy in the northern parts of the country and it is important to ascertain the exact amount of losses in each district.