>food procurement drive almost halted

>WITH the caretaker government’s food procurement drive almost halted, it has started negotiating with the country’s rice millers to achieve its target, changing its previous tough stance of not listening to the millers’ demands.(Full article)
A committee headed by the director (admin) of the food directorate was also formed on Monday following a meeting between Food and Disaster Management Adviser AMM Shawkat Ali and a group of rice mill association leaders.
But officials said the government might fall short of achieving its procurement target as the rice millers started declining to sell rice to the government at the rate fixed by the latter, since rice prices had gone up on the market early this month.
The first meeting between the food secretary and the leaders of rice millers, that was held on Sunday in the food ministry, ended inconclusively as the secretary asked the millers to provide rice to the government at the rate of Tk 28 a kilogram (kg), while the millers demanded incentives for selling rice to the government at a rate lesser than market prices.
To reach an understanding and to expedite the procurement process, the newly formed committee met the leaders of millers again yesterday, where both sides remained rigid in their positions.


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