NEWS reports have it that dishonest contractors are supplying rotten rice to government godowns in connivance with food officials to make windfall profits but this in turn will force people to consume unfit rice which is not safe for human health. The report said around 294 metric tonnes of rotten rice have been detected recently at the government central godown in Khulna region. It was meant for distribution among the poor through open market sale (OMS), Kabikha and TR. The allegations have it that the rice stock was shifted to the government godown from Natore sadar. As the matter came to the knowledge of the Central Storage Department (CSD) godown authorities, they informed it to the higher authorities. They also asked the concerned supplier to give delivery of quality rice, and take back the rotten ones. Meanwhile, one month has already elapsed but the supplier, who is a railway transport contractor and commission agent and transported the rice to Khulna is yet to respond to the replacement order. The supplier has in fact provided a huge quantity of rice to the government godown and the reported 294 tonnes were found totally rotten and unfit for consumption. The report said that the persons involved with the mischief are lobbying now with different government offices so that they don’t have to replace the rotten rice instead of taking part in their destruction for the public safety. News reports said the supplier has taken an initiative now with support from some official quarters to sell the stock to a private trader at a low cost which is equally a crime to supply the private markets with rice unfit for human consumption. Experts suggested that the move be stopped immediately and all individuals in the government and private supply chains must be detected and punished. The issue has become sensitive following the disclosure that the contractor supplied the rice after receiving approval for the samples from officials of the Natore government godown. We know that Bangladesh is almost self-sufficient in rice production. The government is working with a plan to procure about two lakh tonnes of Aman rice during the December-February period to ensure fair prices to farmers in conjunction with a price support scheme. The government procures the stock to maintain the buffer stock as part of the nation’s food security. But we know that the food department and particularly its rice procurement drive is marred with high levels of corruption at all administrative levels. People buy rotten rice and dump it in the government godowns in connivance with food department officials and this is how they make illegal fortunes at a significant cost to the national exchequer. We suggest that the government constitute an enquiry committee immediately to physically verify the rotten rice on the spot and see whether there are other stocks, either in this godown or such other godowns which are also rotten and not fit for human consumption. The culprits must be punished and stocks must be verified to protect human health and save public money from being swindled by corrupt traders and officials.