BSS, Rajshahi :
More than 7.73 lakh extreme poor families in all eight districts under Rajshahi division have started getting rice at a rate of Tk 10 per kilogram (kg) since Monday last.
The selected card holders will get 30 kilograms of rice every month through village ration dealers at a rate of Tk 10 per kg under the 'Food Friendly Programme'.
"Requisite number of village ration dealers has already been appointed at all unions of the division to sell the rice," said Md Muniruzzaman, regional controller of food in Rajshahi, adding "We will sell 2.31 lakh tonnes of rice through 1,385 dealers every month."
The government wants to provide food support to the extreme poor families during the crisis period.
For every 500 families, a village ration dealer has been appointed for distributing the rice smoothly while the widows and physically challenged people are getting priority in the programme.
The food controller also said that the rice selling programme at Tk 10 per kg will continue for three months from September to November. The months have been selected in view of non-availability of work for the day-labourers, he added. He, however, vowed to take punitive measures against those who will engage in any irregularities during the programme.
Meanwhile, poor and extreme poor people of the division are very happy after getting quality rice at Tk 10 per kilogram under the government's 'Food Friendly Programme'.
"We are getting quality rice this time without facing any irregularities," said Momtaj Uddin, an elderly man, who came to purchase rice at Darusha crossing under Paba upazila.
Another beneficiary Sazzad Hossain Ali, who came to buy rice at Rajabari, said the quality of rice is very good. This type of rice is being sold at least at Tk 50 per kilograms in the markets, he added.
BSS from Rangpur adds: More than 8.47 lakh beneficiary families are getting rice at Taka 10 per kilogram in Rangpur division under 'The food-friendly programme' aimed at making rice available for the ultra poor at a very low price.
"Every card holder beneficiary family is getting 30 kilogram rice monthly at Taka 10 per kilogram for five months during the lean seasons annually under the programme," Rangpur Regional Controller of Food Raihanul Kabir told BSS today.
Under the epoch-making food friendly programme, more than 25,411 tonnes of rice is being sold to the card holder beneficiaries of all eight districts under Rangpur division every month.
The beneficiary families are getting rice at Taka 10 per kilogram for September, October and November now after getting the same for March and April early this year.
"The programme has been running smoothly bringing relief to the ultra poor during the five-month lean periods every year since September 7, 2016 when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally launched the initiative under the social safety net scheme," Kabir said.
The female-led families, widows, divorced or abandoned women and poor households with children, who are not beneficiaries of other social safety-net programmes, were given priority during beneficiary selection process.
Under the programme, eight lakh 47 thousand and 43 card holder beneficiary families of 534 unions under all 58 upazilas in eight districts of Rangpur division are getting the rice at Taka 10 per kilogram through 1,473 appointed village ration dealers.
"A total of 256 ration dealers have been appointed to sell the rice in Rangpur, 194 in Gaibandha, 205 in Kurigram, 131 in Lalmonirhat, 250 in Nilphamari, 239 in Dinajpur, 92 in Panchagarh and 106 in Thakurgaon districts in the division," Kabir said.
Over 1.45 lakh card holder families of Rangpur, 1.11 lakh of Gaibandha, 1.41 lakh of Kurigram, 58,730 of Lalmonirhat, 1.32 lakh of Nilphamari, 1.36 lakh of Dinajpur, 50,466 of Panchagarh and 67,070 families of Thakurgaon are getting the opportunity.
"The sale of rice at Taka 10 per kilogram is continuing now in full swing under strict supervision," Kabir said adding that stern actions would be taken for malpractice and irregularities, if any, in the process. Talking to BSS today, District Controller of Food for Rangpur Shajahan Bhuiyan said the 7-member union level beneficiary selection committee, headed by an upazila level government official as its Tag Officer, completed the beneficiary selection process.
The other six members of the union level beneficiary selection committee are: local union chairman, two union parishad members, union parishad secretary and two local elite persons.
After selecting the beneficiaries, the union level committees placed the prepared lists before the 9-member upazila level committees for final scrutiny, correction, replacement and approval.
The upazila level committee, with Member of the Parliament of the local constituency as its Chief Adviser and Upazila Chairman as Adviser, approved the selected beneficiaries and also appointed the village ration dealers for selling the rice.