No buyers for OMS riceFerdous Ara
There are no buyers for rice at the government’s OMS outlets as the target group consumers in the low income bracket prefer to buy the cereal at market where the price in less by Tk three to five a kg.
The market price of rice coarse is Tk 19 to 21 a kg while the government appointed dealers under its Open Market Sale intervention programme, better known as OMS outlets, sell it for the unchanged price of Tk 24 a kg.
The upshot is many of the dealers appointed by the government for selling rice to low income groups at affordable price stopped lifting and selling rice.
OMS dealers said that due to lower and affordable price in the kitchen market the target group consumers now preferred to buy rice from the market instead of from the truck mounted OMS outlets.
To revive the OMS programme, the government should supply more flour to its dealers, OMS dealers Association president Alamgir Saikat told New Age.
According to Dhaka Rationing office, on Tuesday 30 dealers lifted and sold rice in Dhaka city and on Wednesday 43 dealers did it.
During last year’s crisis period with rice prices soaring in the market, 200 OMS dealers lifted and sold rice to the target group buyers in the low income bracket.
Food officials said that the government introduced its OMS intervention in December 2010.
Dhaka Rationing chief controller Sukumar Chandra said, on Wednesday 43 dealers lifted and sold rice in Dhaka city compared to 200 during the crisis time last year when the price of rice was very high in the market.
Sukumar said that the government had introduced the OMS programme to tackle the crisis when rice prices were soaring.
For its OMS intervention the government had sp-lit the capital city into nine parts out of which dealers in D1, D2 and D3 already stopped lifting rice on Sunday, said Alamgir.
He said that out of the capital city’s 250 OMS dealers 140 stopped lifting rice from the government’s depots, as selling OMS rice became unprofitable.
He urged the government to reduce the price of OMS rice so that poor people could buy rice from the OMS outlets.
Sujon Ali, a dealer for Dhaka -5, said that people do not want to buy OMS rice at Tk 24 as rice of the same quality is sold in the market for between Tk 19 to 21 a kg.
But t he buyers queue up for flour sold at OMS outlets for Tk 20 a kg, said Sujon.
But the OMS dealers are not getting the needed supply of flour from Janata Flour and ACI, the government appointed suppliers, he said.
Now Janata Flour and ACI find it more profitable to sell flour in the market rather than through OMS outlets, he added.
He said, ‘We sell flour three days a week and the allotment is finished just in two hours but we get no buyers for OMS rice for which we have to return rice to government’s depots.’
Amena Banu, who used to buy rice for her family from the truck mounted OMS outlet near FDC, told New Age ‘Rice price remained unchanged at OMS outlets and now I buy flour from it because it is close to my home.’
Sahjahan Miah, assistant rationing officer of Dhaka-9, said that during the crisis period our sales were over by 12 noon. And now we can return to our depot at night with 5-8 sacks of unsold rice in our trucks.
During the crisis period, he said, the dealers used to lift two tonnes of flour and three tonnes of rice and now they hardly lift 500 kilograms of flour and 1.5 tonnes of rice.
At OMS outlets one kg of rice is sold at Tk 24 and a buyer is entitled to buy a maximum of five kgs a day, he added.
Sukumar Chandra said that an overwhelming majority of the dealers stopped lifting rice from the government’s depots as they don’t get flour, preferred by the consumers.
comments powered by Disqus