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OMS to start 3rd week of August PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Desk Report
The government is going to introduce Open Market Sales from the third week of August, to offer rice at more affordable prices for the month of Ramadan.
 
Food and disaster management secretary Mollah Wahiduzzaman announced that OMS measures are being started at least 2 weeks before Ramadan begins, in line with the chief adviser's guidelines.
 
The OMS price of rice per kilogramme has not yet been decided. "But the ministry will soon hold a meeting to fix the price," said the secretary.
 
Speaking to reporters at the food ministry, Waheduzzaman said the chief adviser had suggested starting Open Market Sales at least 10 days ahead of Ramadan, which is expected to begin on Sept 3.
 
The secretary said the OMS programme would run six days a week, instead of three days as in past programmes. The 3kg allowance of rice per person will remain the same, but the total number of beneficiaries will rise to over 12 lakh from around 8 lakh in previous programmes.
 
Asked what amount of rice was being set aside, Waheduzzaman said it would be a similar to recent OMS programmes at two lakh tonnes, but the amount would be increased if necessary as had been in the past. The number of dealers would remain constant.
 
The secretary said in the first phase of the programme, at least 50 trucks would visit target areas. Those with a high concentration of day labourers, RMG industrial areas and slum areas will be brought under the OMS programme to start with, to be expanded throughout the country in later phases.
 
Waheduzzaman pointed out that it would not be right to think that rice prices would fall across the board. "Low income will receive the rice at lower prices," he said.

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