Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Soaring Prices of Essentials

Queues for TCB items getting longer

  • ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman
  • 26 November, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Queues for TCB items getting longer

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Soaring essential prices are pushing the lower-income groups to queue in front of the sales points (trucks) of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to buy commodities at lower prices.

Hundreds of people wait for 2-3 hours daily to buy goods from each TCB truck deployed in the city. Due to large crowds, up to 60 per cent of people in the queues can actually buy commodities after a long wait.

The crowds are getting bigger in areas with more people from low-income groups as essential prices continue to go out of the reach for many people.    

“The fifth phase of the subsidized sales with 400-450 mobile truck dealers began from November 3 and will continue till November 28 across the country,” according to TCB.

Sugar, lentil, soybean oil, and other essentials are being sold through mobile trucks across the country.

At Natunbazar area of Vatara, a consumer Biswajit, said, “We cannot afford high-priced goods. TCB products come at lower prices than the market which give us relief.”

“It is difficult to buy essentials from the TCB trucks as goods are sold within 3-4 hours,” he added.  A large number of people were seen buying goods from the TCB truck vendors. Some latecomers of the queue were worried that they might not get the essentials as products would be sold before their turn come.  Md. Sohel, a salesman of Shahjahan Rice Agency of a mobile truck, said they brought 500 kg soybean oil, 300 kg sugar and 400 kg lentil.

“The queues of people are getting larger from last month. Earlier, we had to wait a full day sell the goods but now we are sold by the midday,” he said.

Swarms of people were also seen at the TCB truck sale points at Mohammadi Hoising Society at Adabor, Gabtoli, Banglamotor, Kuril Bishowroad and Shantinagar Bazar.  The price hike of most of the essentials has dealt a double blow to the poor and the middle-income groups who have been already hit hard by unemployment and pay cuts due to Covid-19.

The prices of almost all essential commodities have increased, making it difficult for the common people to meet their daily needs.

Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) President Golam Rahman said the lower and middle-income groups continue to throng the TCB trucks due to the price spiral of essentials.

The government should increase the number of TCB sales points to give them a respite from soaring prices of essentials, he said.