The government has lowered the price of special open market sale (OMS) rice to Tk10 per kg from Tk30.
The Ministry of Food issued a notice in this regard on Thursday asking the authorities concerned to implement the directive so that low-income people including labourers, rickshaw and van pullers, transport workers, hawkers, tea sellers, beggars, vagabonds and third gender people get the benefit.
The decision came amid the countrywide shutdown being enforced by the government to curb the novel coronavirus outbreak that has caused havoc on the low-income people who live from hand to mouth.
As per the directive, the dealers will also buy the rice at a lowered price at Tk8 per kg instead of Tk28.
"We have fixed the price of OMS rice at Tk10 per kg. The divisional and district commissioners will fix where the rice will be sold," said Dr Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum, secretary to the food ministry.
"We have not yet fixed where OMS rice will be sold. We want to ensure that 79 slum areas in the city get the benefit," said Md Mostafizur Rahman, divisional commissioner of Dhaka.
"We hope the sale of OMS rice will start as soon as possible. The dealers have already started taking new shops for that purpose. However, we recommend selling from trucks so that those can be moved to different places," he added.
More than 120 dealers in Dhaka sell OMS rice and flour. Some of them will be selected for selling rice. Directives have been made to ensure that slum dwellers can avail the facility, he said further.
The price of OMS flour has been kept unchanged at Tk18.