Staff Reporter | Update: 2020-03-24 08:14:58
The government has shut down all public and private institutions in the country from 26th March to 4th April to prevent coronavirus infection. It was forbidden to go out without much need at this time. At the same time, the army is coming to the field from Tuesday (24th March) to maintain social distance. In all, the lockdown situation is starting in the country somehow.
The most difficult situation is going to be the poorest of the poor living in the city area. If they do not work, they cannot afford to eat twice. Therefore, the government has taken initiative to sell rice at the rate of tk 10. At the same time, there is also the idea of selling pulses and edible oils at low prices. The information was reported in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Commerce.
According to sources in the finance ministry, around 50 lakh families who have card holders in rural areas are being given rice at a rate of Tk10. But this program is not operational in different cities including Dhaka.
However, in urban areas, rice is sold at open market (OMS) at the rate of Tk 30 per kg under the government's food-friendly program. For the continuation of this program, in the current financial year (2010-2020), 1 lakh 40 thousand metric tons of rice has been allocated. But now the demand of rice is not high in the market, its demand is very low. So, till last February, only 1,000 metric tons of rice allocated in the first eight months of the current fiscal year have been sold.
The rest of the rice remains undeveloped. The government is trying to sell these unsold rice to the poor people at the open market during the lockdown with a subsidy of Tk10. A family standing on the line from the truck at OMS can buy a maximum of five kilos of rice at a time.
For this, the government will not have to provide any additional subsidy. Because the current budget allocated for food subsidy has been kept at Tk 3 thousend 600 crore. But because of OMS rice not being sold, the subsidy in the revised budget was reduced to Tk Tk 3 thousend 200 crore. Now, if the rice is sold at Tk 10 kg, the subsidy allocated will be TkTk 3 thousend 600 crore.
Asked about this, a senior finance ministry official said, "Because the money is a kilogram, no one buys rice from OMS. So Monday, the Ministry of Food sent a proposal to reduce the price of rice to Tk25 kg. However, the Prime Minister's Office has directed to provide more low-cost rice to the poor people during the lockdown. So we are going to make a decision to sell rice at Tk10 kg per kg. ”
He further said, "A proposal has already been sent to the Finance Secretary. A summary will be made for the finance minister only if the finance secretary approves. This is going to be implemented very soon, he said. It may even have to be implemented in the speech that the Prime Minister will give to the nation on 25th March .
Commercial activity in the downtown area during the lockdown will be almost closed. Therefore, the most vulnerable will be the poor people of low income. Some of them sell goods on the streets, some run rickshaw, and some are day laborers. Most of them live in slum areas. Most of them will be unemployed within a few days because of the coroner. Someone else will lose income. So to protect these people, the government plans to launch OMS in the form of Massive. As part of this, even for a limited time, the poor people of the city will be given rice at the rate of Tk 10.
Meanwhile, the TCB, under the Commerce Ministry, has already started selling sugar, pulses, edible oils and onions in front of Mujib. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that TCB will be on the field in the coming Ramadan, with 7 to 10 times the product than other years.
Under this program, every consumer will be able to buy a maximum of TK 50 kg of sugar at the rate of Tk 80 kg, a maximum of five liters of soybean oil as a transporter of Tk 50 . Lockdown Kali and soybean oil are planning to lower prices slightly, according to the Commerce Ministry sources. However, the price of oil and pulses has not yet been determined.
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