Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi urged the e-commerce companies to maintain transparency in their operations so that no one can abuse the emerging sector through fraudulence.
He said the government is taking measures to ensure accountability in the sector and protect the consumers’ interest.Addressing a webinar on Monday, the minister said the trading through e-commerce platform in Bangladesh reached at Tk 160 billion during 2020, the pandemic-hit year.
Tipu Munshi also inaugurated an online campaign of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to ensure daily essentials for the lower and lower-middle-income families at affordable prices.
The campaign has been launched under the service week of the TCB, a state-run organization, during the month of Ramadan.
E-commerce Association of Bangladesh (E-Cab) facilitated the campaign with online platform of digitalhaat.net connecting eight grocery-based e-commerce companies.
The customers from Dhaka, Tangail and Sirajganj can buy four essential products – oil, gram pulse, sugar and lentil - during the campaign. This will continue till May 6.
The price for edible oil per liter is fixed at Tk 108 while sugar, gram pulse and lentil will be available at Tk 58 per kilogram each during the campaign.A customer can order maximum five liters of edible oil and three kilograms each of sugar, gram pulse and lentil.
Ministry of Commerce also fixed the maximum fee for delivery inside Dhaka at Tk 30 and Tk 40 for outside the capital.
Tipu Munshi said the TCB has been running the fair price campaign across the country though the mobile shops on trucks.
“People from middle class families feel shy to buy products from the TCB trucks. The online service is to help them buy products at fair prices,” the minister said.
He said the e-commerce sector is booming as the country witnessed reaching transaction as high as Tk 160 billion in online shopping in 2020.
He said the commerce ministry has taken different initiatives to ensure transparency and accountability in the e-commerce sector through building capacity of the stakeholders.
“The pandemic has changed landscape of the online shopping as e-commerce business grew significantly in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world.” “We have taken measures to reduce fraudulence in e-commerce for ensuring hassle-free service for the people,” the minister added. Senior Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin said the e-commerce companies should be aware of ensuring fair price products to the consumers as the government is giving subsidies to the TCB products.
Additional Secretary AHM Shafiquzzaman said the customers canget the products at lower prices compared to the usual market during the TCB campaign.
E-Cab president Shomi Kaiser said the initiative of the commerce ministry to sell onion by TCB e-commerce platforms received huge response in September last year.
“This inspired us to stand by the people during this holy month of Ramadan,” she said.