‘Avoid panic buying, huge food supply in country’

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

5 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Urging people to refrain from panic buying, the commerce ministry on Sunday said the country has adequate supplies of essential foods and commodities.

People have started buying essential products excessively after a cabinet minister hinted at possible restriction from Monday.

Dhaka residents were found flocking to grocery shops to buy essentials like rice, oil, onion, pulse, garlic and ginger in bulk in fear of shortages if corona and spreads further.

However, Department of Agriculture Marketing (DAM) director-general Mohammad Yousuf said the country has an adequate supply of essential products including rice, atta, pulse, chickpea, potato, onion, garlic, edible oil and dates. Besides, the government has imported many essential items ahead of Ramadan.

He said they have taken special measure for smooth transport of essentials laden vehicles across the country despite the lockdown.

“Letters have been sent to BIWTA, BRTA, district administration, railway and other government authorities to ensure smooth essential goods supply across the country during the nationwide lockdown,” he added.

The food stock is enough to meet the country’s demand for more than a year as the private firms, traders, miller and wholesalers have more food grain stock than the government, said the market insiders.

Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) said they have increased the volume of essential items for sale due to increasing price. “TCB has 10-12 per cent stock of the essentials products that are in high demand during Ramadan.”

The state-run agency will sell 26,500 tonnes of edible oil, 18,000 tonnes of sugar, 12,000 tonnes of lentil, 8,000 tonnes of chickpea and 6,000 tonnes of onion. 

Babul Hossain, a private company employee who was buying essentials from a shop at Mohammadpur, told the Daily Sun that he bought a sack (50kg) of rice, 5 kg chickpea, 5 litres edible oil, 4 kgs lentil and some other essentials.

He said essentials prices had increased last year soon a lockdown was announced by the government.

Roman, the owner of the retail shop, said the sale of essentials items has increased from Saturday.       

TCB has started selling edible oil, sugar, lentil (Mosur Dal) and onion through 400 trucks from March 17. TCB increased the number of trucks by 100 to a total of 500 for selling essential items from April 1 in a bid to control the price of essentials during the Holy month of Ramadan.

A buyer can purchase the highest 4 kgs of sugar, 2 kgs of mosur dal, 5 litres of soybean oil, 5 kgs of onion from each truck. Chickpea and dates will be added ahead of Ramadan.

TCB also runs an e-commerce platform to allow people to buy essentials without visiting the sales points.

A huge rush of consumers was seen on Sunday in the kitchen markets.

DAM DG Mohammad Yousuf said the government has formed 28 teams to monitor the essential market in the capital to prevent price volatility.

The market monitoring teams are comprised of representatives from the Commerce Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Department of Agriculture Market (DAM), Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection and law enforcing agencies.

During the lockdown, kitchen markets and grocery stores will remain open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm maintaining health guidelines.

 


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