Rice at Tk 30, flour at Tk 18...

Dhaka, Friday   29 May 2020

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Rice at Tk 30, flour at Tk 18

 Sheikh Shafiqul Bari daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 10:53 PM, 30 March 2020  

Photo: DailyBangladesh

Photo: DailyBangladesh

Amid the global pandemic novel Novel Coronavirus (COVD-19), low-income and poor-helpless people are spending a miserable life. They can not get out, and can't work. The government is selling flour at Tk 18 and rice at Tk 30 for these helpless people.

Chief Controller of the Food Department of Dhaka, Rationing Division has opened 120 centres in different areas of the capital to sale rice and flour among at low cost. This flour and rice are being sold at shops and trucks and pickups through dealers. Each dealer was initially given 1 tonne of flour and 2 tonnes of rice for sale. Each low-income people will able to buy 5kg flour and 5kg rice for Tk 90 and 150 respectively.

Chief Controller Dhaka, Rationing Office sources said that to buy these food items people will have to obey the social distance. 

On condition of anonymity, an employee of the rationing office Dhaka, said, "We are providing dawn to dusk services under the strict direction of our chief controller. Many low-income buyers do not want to stand in line with social distance. Many of them are showing hurry to buy food. However, the district administration, members of the Armed Forces and the police are always helping us in this regard." 

Visiting various areas of the capital, our correspondent found some dealers are selling OMS (open market) flour and rice at an additional price of Tk 5 and Tk 2 per kg respectively. So the people have to pay Tk 100 and Tk 160 for 5kg flour and 5 kg rice respectively.

Vendors are saying that they are keeping additional taka for polythene bags. Consumers complain they are handing over Tk 10 for a polythene bag valued at Tk 2. Conflicts are often created among buyers and sellers about this. 

The flour and rice of OMS program were being sold on Sunday in a yellow pickup (Dhaka Metro-Na-11-4177) near Mirpur-14 in the capital. When asked about extra charge fixed by the government they said, talk to our dealer Md. Musa. But they could not give the dealer's phone number. They are also reluctant to reveal their names. And excuse me about giving a polythene bag.

An old woman named Firoza Begum said that she went away as they are selling per kg flour and rice at extra 2 and 5 takas respectively. "You write more and more. They are oppressing the poor." the woman added. 

Apart from this, images of irregularities were seen in various areas including Mirpur Mazar Road, Mohammadpur, Tejgaon, Postgola, Gendaria, Mir Hazaribagh, Shanir Akhara, Bhangapress, Kajla and Jatrabari.

Chief Controller, Dhaka Rationing Utpal Saha told DailyBangladesh that the dealers wanted to show free polythene bags as an excuse. But all of them have been given strict instructions. If such complaint is received, then other legal action will be taken against them, including cancellation of license. They have been told to supply food items at government fixed price. I myself have requested dealers to be more humane in times of disaster, to provide food items with patience and courtesy. 

He further said that all are facing disaster at the same time, under the direction of the Prime Minister. Two of them may have done so in the interest of a profit. District administration, law enforcers and members of the armed forces are also providing ample support. I am particularly helpful in maintaining social distance and standing in line and keeping above the prescribed price. I, myself monitoring the market from morning to evening with hundreds of officers and employees. If you find any irregularities in every shop or truck-pickup, please inform me or anyone in the administration, including the local police. Action must be taken. I went to the shops myself and caution them orally and putting stickers.

Today, visiting some areas our correspondent found that OMS is being carried out as per the directions of the Dhaka Department of Food and Controllers.