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13th-Sep-2018

Stop the corrupt practice of pocketing money by depriving the poor

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THE Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) seized 215 tonnes of rice and flour, which were illegally sold in the black market from the government warehouses conducting raids at Mohammadpur Krishi Market, Tejgaon, Kakrail and Karwan Bazar on Saturday and Sunday. The consignments were kept for sale on trucks to the low-income group people in the capital through the Open-Market Sale (OMS) programme.
RAB members waited outside the warehouses following a tip-off that some officials were selling the rice and flour in the black market. Four trucks were stopped at Tejgaon and another at Kakrail after those carrying the rice and flour were taken out of the warehouses. Three more trucks were stopped in front of the warehouse.
Looting and selling of OMS rice and flour is nothing new in our country but what is significant is that, this time this sort of incidents were exposed in the capital. Each and every year, hundreds of thousands of sacks containing rice and flour are sold in black markets. A strong syndicate comprising some ruling party men in connivance with dishonest officials of Central Storage Depot is allegedly involved in this crime. In particular, the scenario in rural areas - upazila and village level - is highly frustrating where the OMS rice and flour are directly sold in open market.        
It's a culture of looting. We must say swallowing ultra-poor's rice doesn't create any mental pressure on them due to getting impunity from the government. Whereas, the government's all good efforts go in vain for this looting procedure. On the other hand, the marginal people also do not get any benefit from the government programmne.    
This happens regularly for no or lax monitoring by the authorities concerned. The government's priority task is to protect financially vulnerable groups when essential prices get unaffordable for them. But we see, the government is giving scope to a vested quarter for pocketing profits by depriving the poor. It is nothing but patronizing the corrupt practice.