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26 March, 2020 01:18:18 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 26 March, 2020 06:27:07 PM

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Urban low-income people want rice at Tk 10 per kg

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka
Urban low-income people want rice at Tk 10 per kg

Low-income people have demanded that the government introduce a food-friendly programme in the urban areas, considering their immense financial crisis.

The government had a programme to provide rice at Tk 10 per kg among 50 lakh cardholders living in the rural areas under the food-friendly programme.

Street vendors, rickshaw-pullers, CNG and van drivers, street tea vendors, and hawkers have been asked to stay at home to avoid possible coronavirus infection. As a result, low-income people have been facing a severe financial crisis as they have no job at the moment.

Besides, most of them have been running their business taking loans from various NGOs.

As per the government decision, people living in urban areas have been asked to stay at home, and all the offices and educational institutions have been locked down due to coronavirus.

“I usually earn Tk 500-700 daily after paying Tk 300 as rent for the rickshaw. Now, I am passing my days sitting idle as there is no passenger. Besides, we are afraid to go out because of the coronavirus outbreak,” Shukur Ali, a rickshaw-puller of Mirpur-1 and the father of five children, told this correspondent yesterday.

He also said Tk 3,000 has to be paid as house rent per month and he has no other way to earn money except carrying passengers in his rickshaw.

He sought the government’s help to introduce a food-friendly programme in cities and towns as in the rural areas. Habib, a CNG driver, said he has to pay a weekly instalment of Tk 5,000 to an NGO as he had taken a loan from it.

“I have four members in my family with my wife and children. I have stopped driving my CNG due to fear of the coronavirus. We are passing very difficult days and don’t know what will happen in the days to come. We need the government’s assistance to survive,” he said in reply to a query.

He also said the government has many programmes for the poor and can introduce programmes in urban areas.

“We are giving rice at Tk 10 per kg among 50 lakh cardholders in the rural areas under the food-friendly programme. The government can take any decision for any purpose and we just implement it,” Food Ministry Secretary Dr Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum told The Independent yesterday.

When asked about the introduction of a food-friendly programme in the urban areas, she said though many poor people live in urban areas, the food-friendly programme is meant only for the rural people. Only the high-ups of the government can take a decision to introduce a food-friendly programme in urban areas, she said in reply to a query.

BK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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