OMS of rice resumes in September: adviser
Saturday, 21 June 2008

The open market sales of rice at subsidised prices will resume in September after procurement from the domestic market, finance and planning adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam said Thursday.

"Procurement and open-market sales cannot go simultaneously," Mirza Aziz told reporters after a meeting with six Asian Development Bank officials at the planning ministry.

"The government buys rice at Tk 28 a kg from farmers and sells at Tk 25 on the open market. The government may have to pay higher prices if the two continue together," the adviser said, explaining suspension of the OMS.

"OMS was meant for low-income people to buy daily essentials at lower prices."

On why the prices of rice, pulse, potato and some other essential commodities rose after the budget was proposed for the next fiscal year, the adviser denied any link between the announcement of the budget and soaring prices.

"There is nothing in the budget that may trigger a price hike. I don't see any reason for it."

"The commerce ministry may explain if the prices of commodities have really increased."

On if inflation will go further up, the adviser said inflation turned out to be a "worrying issue" for all countries.

"Inflations in India and Bangladesh are almost the same. The inflation rate is 20 percent in Sri Lanka and 23 percent in Vietnam," the adviser said.

Mirza Aziz reiterated that inflation on a point-to-point basis exceeded double digit in Bangladesh but came down to 7.66 percent in April. "The projected 9 percent inflation is also a matter of concern for Bangladesh."

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