According to the reports from the Directorate General of Food under Bangladesh’s Food Ministry, it has been proposed to sell 30 kilograms of rice every month to ultra-poor households at below market prices. The Department is proposing to sell rice at Tk 10 per kilogram (around $130 per ton) under the “fair price card” scheme to clear rice stocks to create space for the upcoming Boro (January – May) harvest. It has been indicated that the scheme was originally introduced in February 2011 to distribute rice at lower than the market price to the households at the grassroots level. However, it was discontinued later but now; the Department has proposal to revive the scheme. So, in this regard, the proposal needs to be approved by the government. Further, the Director General of the Department has also revealed that currently, the government rice stocks stand at around 1.072 million tons and it plans to purchase one million tons of rice Boro rice in May.
Furthermore, it has been stated that earlier, in this month, the government had already cut the open market sale prices of rice to Tk 15 per kilogram (around $196 per ton) from Tk 20 per kilogram (around $261 per ton) to clear the stocks. At present, the retail prices of coarse rice stood between Tk 32-34 per kilogram (around $417-$443 per ton) in Dhaka, down 8.33% from a year earlier, as stated by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. Meanwhile, traders are also concerned that the initiative would affect the rice and paddy prices and may affect farmers during the Boro harvest time. However, in this regard, the Director General of the Food Department assured that farmers would not be impacted at all by the revival of this scheme.