Food situation reviewed by advisory council
Tuesday, 08 January 2008

Staff Correspondent
The interim government cabinet on Sunday decided to sell 45,000 tonnes of rice at Tk 25 a kilogram through the open market sales (OMS) throughout the country to tackle the abnormal price hike of rice, said official sources.

The Bangladesh Rifles will sell 20,000 tonnes of rice and the remaining 25,000 tonnes will be sold by 1990 dealers to rein in the volatile rice market. The OMS will begin on Tuesday, but the price will be higher than before by Tk 6. Rice was sold at the OMS outlets in November 2007 at Tk 19 a kg.

The decision was taken at the weekly meeting of the council of advisers in the chief adviser’s office as the rice market attained some stability after the abnormal hike of the price of ordinary rice by Tk 5-7 per kg within a week.

The meeting, presided over by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, reviewed the country’s food situation and the government’s programmes to bring about food security. It was reiterated in the meeting that the government had initiated a move to import 10 lakh tonnes of food-grains, of which 3.5 lakh tonnes had already landed while the import of remaining 6.5 lakh tonnes was in progress.

On Saturday the chief adviser said at the elected local government representatives’ conference that the government would import 10 lakh tonnes of food-grains to ensure food security.

The cabinet has asked the agriculture ministry to do the needful for increasing Boro production.

‘The agriculture ministry has been instructed to ensure adequate supply of seeds, power and irrigation facilities for the farmers,’ said an official.

The advisory council’s meeting also decided to bring 5.7 lakh more families in poverty-ridden areas under the coverage of the on-going Vulnerable Group Feeding programme for five months. At present the government is providing five lakh families with 15 kg of rice every month under its VGF programme in the Sidr-stricken areas.

Besides, the cabinet approved the Trade Marks Ordinance 2008, amending the Trade Marks Act 1940, to facilitate international trade, commerce and industrialisation as well. It also approved the proposal for amending the Income Tax Ordinance 1984.

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