TCB has intensified its sale of edible oil, sugar and lentil under its open market sale (OMS) scheme since March 26
Essential food items being sold by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) at subsidized rates comes as a relief to low-income group and unemployed day labourers in the capital hit by the virtual lockdown period.
The state-run agency has intensified its sale of edible oil, sugar and lentil under its open market sale (OMS) scheme since March 26, when the 10-day public holidays was announced by the government.
The TCB sells sugar at Tk50 per kg, lentil at Tk50 a kg and soybean oil at Tk80 a liter through 350 trucks across the country including around 50 trucks in the capital.
The items sold at Tk72, Tk130 and Tk105 respectively in the city’s kitchen and retail markets yesterday.
"I bought sugar, oil and pulse from a TCB truck at cheaper prices than those in retail stores," said Amena Khaton, a customer at Moghbazar area. The prices of the essential products were very high in markets, she added.
"It benefits us a lot and helps buy at least some essential items at affordable prices. Moreover, there is no crowd in front of the TCB trucks as public holidays announced to halt coronavirus spread prevented city-dwellers from coming out of their houses," said Ameena.
Abul Miya, a rickshaw puller, regularly purchases available food and kitchen items from the OMS from TCB truck near Jatiya Press Club area.
"If TCB stops selling commodities through its OMS initiative during the coronaviurs outbreak, I have to struggle hard to survive," Abul told Dhaka Tribune.
The low income group people urged the government increases number of items under the OMS scheme with uninterrupted supply throughout the crisis days.
Visiting several TCB sales points in the capital, a very low turnout of customers were seen buying the items from the trucks. There were no crowds unlike other times, as people are confined to their homes.
However, the TCB's trucks were not found in many regular points during the visit yesterday.
A TCB seller at Magbazar said they moved different places centering a point to cater to diverse group of buyers stretching a large area. So, they could not be seen at a particular location every day and all the time, he clarified.
TCB's spokesperson Humayun Kabir said, "We were originally scheduled to continue our services till March 31, but later we extended the scheme until the crisis period of coronavirus persists."
"If needed, we will expand our list of products ," he said and added that the OMS service would also be run during the upcoming month of Ramadan.