Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday said the district and police administrations have been directed to arrest rice hoarders across the country.
“Rice prices are soaring due to illegal hoarding. Action will be taken against hoarders. The [rice mill] owners will be arrested if there’s any illegal hoarding of rice” he said, talking to reporters after a meeting with leaders of the auto mill owners’ association at the secretariat.
Recently, law enforcement conducted a drive at a warehouse owned by Bangladesh Rice Mills Association chairman Abdur Rashid in Kushtia.
During the drive, they found additional rice hoarded at the silo and fined the mill Tk 50,000.
Referring to the incident, Tofail said the registration of the association, led by Abdur Rashid and Layek Ali, will be revoked if it is found they are responsible for the rice crisis.
He said three ministries will hold a joint meeting at the food ministry on Tuesday with the rice mill owners association, rice importers association, wholesalers and retailers.
Food minister Qamrul Islam was also present at the meeting.