Govt to blacklist 122 rice mills in Pabna


Boro season paddy collection target in Pabna has not been met this year. In nine upazilas of the district, 24571 metric tons of rice and 6695 metric tons of paddy have been procured in the stipulated time, 14396 metric tons of rice and 621 metric tons of paddy have been procured.

The procurement campaign failed as several contracted mill owners did not supply rice. Of the 682 contracted mills in the district, 122 are being blacklisted, a food department source said.

Pabna District Food Controller Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury confirmed the incident and said 122 rice mills in the district have been identified who did not supply rice even after signing the agreement. The process of blacklisting these identified matches is underway.

According to the Pabna District Food Controller's Office, a target of 24571 metric tonnes of rice and 6695 metric tonnes of paddy has been set in nine upazilas of Pabna district during the Boro season this year. 

The government has entered into agreements with 72 mill owners in nine upazilas of the district to meet the rice procurement target. From the first week of May to August 31, the rice procurement drive continues. However, as the collection was not as expected, the time was extended by 15 days and the collection campaign was carried out till September 15.

District Food Controller Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury said 14396 metric tonnes of rice and 621 metric tonnes of paddy had been collected in Pabna district at the end of the stipulated time including extra time. 

He added that it has already been decided not to allocate government incentives to the 122 identified mills in the district and not to sign any new contracts in the upcoming Aman procurement drive. In addition, these mills will be deprived of all government benefits due to breach of contract. Mills are in the process of being blacklisted.

Meanwhile, the Pabna District Rice Mill Owners' Association has blamed  the food department for the failure of the rice procurement drive in the district. Fazlur Rahman Malitha, general secretary of the Pabna District Rice Mill Owners' Association, said the nationwide rice procurement drive started in early May but started in June in Pabna. After the start of the campaign, the food department again made a new list of rice mills. Food grain collection was delayed by a month due to inventory complications. As a result, the mill owners could not supply rice at the previous price due to increase in the price of paddy.