Open Market Sale (OMS), a government initiative to provide lower-income people with essential commodities at a reasonable price, has received good response on the first day.
Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), a state-owned organisation, has started OMS through 185 trucks across the country ahead of Ramadan to keep the prices of essentials stable.
During visits to several sales points in the capital, this correspondent found that consumers were buying the commodities standing in a long queue. The Dhaka Tribune correspondents from different areas including Chittagong, Khulna, Barisal, Rangpur and Sylhet also reported that sales points in the areas also witnessed a huge rush.
Abdul Alim, who bought 3 kgs of sugar (local), 3 kgs of lentil, 5 litres of bottled soybean oil and 3 kgs of gram from an OMS truck in front of the National Press Club told the Dhaka Tribune, “I have bought the commodities from OMS truck for their cheaper rates than the kitchen market.
“If the goods are of good quality, I will buy them next time.”
Md Shahidul Haque, dealer of the OMS truck, told the Dhaka Tribune, “We sold 400 kgs of sugar (local), 300 kgs of lentil, 400 litres of soybean oil and 400 kgs of gram on the first day.”
Meanwhile, the OMS truck sale finished within two hours in Khulna due to the rush of consumers.
Every year, the government conduct subsidising sale of essential commodities to keep the market price stable during the month of Ramadan.
TCB spokesperson M Humayun Kabir said: “We have started the OMS activity across the country for the convenience of people centring the holy month of Ramadan.”
A total of 185 trucks have been engaged in selling the essential commodities. Of them, 33 are in Dhaka, 10 in Chittagong, five each in other divisional cities and two each in district towns.
He also said OMS would be operated on six days a week except Friday.
Replying to a query, Kabir said: “The OMS activity would continue till the last week of Ramadan. A total of 2,811 dealers across the country are running the activity.”
“TCB collected pulses and grams from Australia for OMS at a subsidised price,” he added.
According to TCB, a consumer could buy highest 4 kgs of sugar (local), 3 kgs of lentil, 5 litres of soybean oil, 5 kgs of gram and 1 kg of date from the OMS truck.
TCB is allocating a daily sale of 300-400kgs of sugar, 250-300kgs of lentil, 300-400kgs of grams, 20-30kgs of date and 300-400 litres of soybean oil for a truck.
Dealers sold sugar, lentil, soybean oil and lentil on Monday while the sale of date would start from the eve of Ramadan.
Each litre of soybean oil was sold at Tk85 while Tk55 was fixed for each kilogramme (kg) of sugar, Tk80 for lentil and Tk70 for gram.