TCB to start OMS of essentials to check price hike

TCB to start OMS of essentials to check price hike

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Dhaka, April 26 – The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh or TCB will start selling essential commodities from May 6 in open markets across the country including capital city Dhaka in a bid to keep the prices at tolerable limit ahead of holy month of Ramadan, the fasting month for the Muslims.The holy Shab-e-Barat, the night of fortune and forgiveness, will be observed on May 1 and the holy Ramadan, the fasting month, is likely to begin on May 15 this year.
However, the state-owned TCB will sell five essentials commodities—sugar, lentils, edible oil, grams and dates to keep their prices stable during the month of Ramzan, Ruhul Amin Khan, director (import & admin), trading corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) told The Independent yesterday.
“The fasting month is likely to begin on May 15. So, the TCB has decided to start selling of five essentials from May 6 and it would continue till the day of Eid-ul-Fitr,” he said in reply to a query.
The TCB has fixed the prices of essentials as sugar will be sold at Tk 55 per kg, lentils Tk 55 per kg, edible oil Tk 425 (5 litre), grams Tk 70 per kg and dates Tk 120 per kg, Khan said.
According to TCB director, “We have already imported 2,000 tonnes of sugar, 3,000 tonnes lentils, 2,000 tonnes grams, and dates 100 tonnes. Besides, we have some previous stocks too.”
These essentials commodities are being sold at subsidies prices, he added.
“The essentials item will be sold through 2,784 dealers and 187 trucks across the country. Each dealer will get all the commodities in three installments and the consumers could buy a certain amount of commodity from the dealer. Besides, the TCB selling programme will also be operated in every divisional headquarters and district level,” the TCB director said.
He further said the truck sale will be operated at 35 spots in Dhaka, 10 spots in Chattogram, five spots in each divisional city and two spots in each district towns.
“There will be our own monitoring team and district administrations will also monitor the TCB selling programme—so that none would able to miss-use it,” Khan said in reply to a query.
According to TCB sources, the government has given about Tk 376 crore as subsidy to the TCB in last five years from 2010-2011 to 2015-2016 fiscal years.
However, the commerce ministry sources said, the annual demand for edible oil was 17.5 tonnes in the country, but 29.2 lakh tonnes were imported last year. Besides, 7.05 lakh tonnes were produced locally in the country. Further, 14.31 lakh tonnes of edible oil has been imported in the last eight months.
Only 2.5 lakh tonnes of additional edible oil is needed during the month of Ramzan.
The sources said that a total of 19 lakh tonnes of sugar was needed to meet the country’s demand every year. Of this amount, 17.37 lakh tonnes of sugar was imported last year, while 3.65 lakh tonnes have been imported in the last eight months and 68,562 tonnes were produced locally.
One lakh tonnes of gram are needed annually to meet the national demand. As much as 5.08 lakh tonnes of gram was imported in the last year, while 1.98 lakh tonnes have been imported in the last eight months. Besides, adequate quantities of onions and other essentials have been stocked. – Staff Reporter

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