Measures taken by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to keep the market prices of five essential goods stable during Ramadan have been received positively by the low income people of the country.
Under the Open Market Sale (OMS) initiative begun on May 6, the state-owned TCB loaded 184 trucks with soybean oil, sugar, red lentils, grams, and dates, and sent them nationwide in preparation for the holy month.
Thirty-two of the trucks are in Dhaka, 10 in Chattogram, five in each of the six other divisional cities, and two in each district town.
TCB spokesperson Humayun Kabir said that in total 2,784 dealers and the TCB’s own 10 truck retail centres across the country are running the activity.
“After getting good response from the consumers, we have already increased the amount of goods and reduced the prices for the sake of the low income people,” he said. “The OMS activity will continue till the final week of Ramadan.”
Under the OMS, each litre of soybean oil is selling at Tk85 while the per kilogramme prices of the other four staples are fixed at Tk55 for sugar, Tk50 for lentil, Tk65 for gram and Tk100 for dates.
According to TCB, a consumer can buy a maximum of 5kg of sugar (local), 5kg of lentil, 5 litres of soybean oil, 10kg of gram and 2kg of dates from TCB trucks, dealers or its sales centres.
The Dhaka Tribune visited the OMS truck parked in front of the Azimpur area of the capital before Ramadan and spoke to Halima Begum, who had bought 3kg sugar, 2kg of lentil, 5 litres of bottled soybean oil and 2kg of gram.
“This is the first time I have purchased things from here. If the commodities are of good quality and cheaper, then I will come again.”
Visiting several other sales points in Dhaka, this correspondent saw consumers eager to buy the fixed price commodities while standing in long queues. With demand so high, many buyers claimed they did not get their necessary goods due to a shortage of supply.