The government has prepared a strategic programme for consumers by ensuring smooth supply and price at affordable level of the daily essentials during the holy Ramadan scheduled to begin in the last week of April.
The directives given by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Ministry of Commerce has prepared the strategic programme particularly for the Ramadan as the country can have a smooth supply of the essentials like onion, soybean oil, sugar, chick pea, lentil and dates.“Basically, targeting the ensuing holy Ramadan, we have prepared the detailed strategic porgrammes in order to keep the essentials price within the reach of the common people,” said Commerce Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin.
Under the programme, he said a five-member committee has been formed to oversee the activities of the state arm– Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB)- with additional secretary of the concerned commerce ministry as its convener.
During the Ramadan, Dr Jafar said the TCB will be selling 30,000 tonnes of edible oil and 25,000 tonnes of sugar which has already been approved by the cabinet.
The annual demand of the edible oil is 20 lakh tonnes and some 3.5 lakh tonnes oil are needed particularly in Ramadan. The country has now a stock of 13.22 lakh tonnes edible oil including the import of 12.22 lakh tonnes which have been made during July to December in 2019, official sources said.
While the demand of three lakh tonnes sugar solely in Ramadan, the government will sell 25,000 tonnes sugar through the TCB during this time and the country already has a stock of more nine lakh tonnes against the annual demand of 18 lakh tonnes.
Besides, the TCB will sell 30,000 tonnes onion, 3,000 tonnes lentil, 8,000 tonnes chick-pea and 500 tonnes dates during the Ramadan, the official added.Regarding the possibility of any possible crisis or even price hike of the essentials in Ramadan, Muhammad Humayun Kabir, assistant personal secretary to the Chairman of the TCB, said, “We have a plan to increase our marketing strength in the holy Ramadan as normally the TCB sell the commodities through 187 trucks but now during Ramadan we will be increasing it to two or three times more.”
Meanwhile, considering the higher demand of some kinds of essentials during the Ramadan, a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on January 19 has also directed to ensure it that the commodity price during the Ramadan would not any cost become higher from the price remains at the present level.
The meeting chaired by the PMO’s Secretary has also directed the state arm Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to carrying out marketing of the essentials by incorporating all the district and upazila administrations for keeping the commodity price at tolerable level during the Ramadan.
To keep the essentials price stable in the Ramadan, Deputy Director of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection Manjur Mohammad Shahriar told journalists that “A total of four mobile team are now conducting monitor every day in the kitchen market in the city, adding that we are looking at the entire supply chain including the import and distribution of the commodity.”
He urged the consumers to inform the directorate directly if they found any irregularities in terms of price manipulation with the commodity during the Ramadan.