The ministry of commerce says it has been able to keep commodity prices stable during the pandemic with open market sale (OMS) campaign and continuous market oversight.
State-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) sold 2,33,794 tonnes of essential commodities among 3,33,23,006 families at fair price during March 2020 to May 2021 period, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.The OMS of essential items like soybean oil, sugar, lentil, onion, potato, gram and date has benefited some 133.3 million people across the country, it informed.
Besides, local production of different essential commodities, their international market, import and local market are under a constant close watch of the ministry, the commerce ministry has claimed.
“Commodity supply and market remained stable during the lockdown period and the last two Ramadans with the directives of Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and team commerce’s initiatives and efforts under the leadership of Commerce Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin,” the statement said.
The ministry’s own assessment suggests that prices of all commodities but edible oil were by and large stable in the last one year, especially during the month of Ramadan.
From 2014 to June 2020 edible oil price had remained stable, but an unusual price spirals in the international market started after June 2020, it informed.
Edible oil price depend on international price as the country’s demand for edible oil is met through more than 95 percent import.The recent edible oil price hike at international market has impact on local market as well, but local price has not risen that much compared to international price, the commerce ministry has claimed.
Per kg edible oil price rose from Tk 52.11 to Tk 135.84 in the international market with 160 percent hike in the last one year, it informed.
But during the same time, the price increased from Tk 88-93 to Tk 120-125 per kg with only 35 percent, claims the commerce ministry.
It was possible for continuous market monitoring by the market monitoring team and a reciprocal mindset of the ministry and edible oil refiners.
Apart from the ministry, its other organizations are also playing a vital role in keeping commodity market within the reach of common people, says the ministry.