Tuesday, 27 September, 2022

Family Card Programme

TIB’s report not based on facts: Tipu Munshi

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 18 August, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
TIB’s report not based  on facts: Tipu Munshi

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Minister of Commerce Tipu Munshi refuted a Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) report on the government's commodity sale campaign, saying that the report wasn’t based on actual information.

He was speaking to journalists at a press conference at his secretariat office in Dhaka on Wednesday.

  The graft watchdog TIB recently published a report titled "Governance Challenges in TCB's Family Card Programme" claiming that the targeted population in many cases did not get the benefit of the scheme due to lack of transparency, irregularities and corruption.

 “Following the Prime Minister’s order, TCB is selling daily essentials among one crore family card owners through selected dealers. The products are being sold in a disciplined and timely manner due to the uses of QR codes. In this digitised process, a person can’t buy TCB goods several times as happened in the past,” said the commerce minister.

 Tipu Munshi added that the list of family card owners was prepared through consultation with public representatives and the local administrations.

“We are trying to sell TCB goods among those who need them the most. Family cards are letting people buy TCB goods in a hassle-free and systematic manner. The government is providing 100 percent subsidies to continue selling goods through TCB. Most importantly, family card owners are buying essentials from TCB at their convenience, which wasn’t possible earlier,” he said.

The minister, however, admitted that there might have been at most five percent irregularities. "There is no denying this fact. But we managed to reach 95 percent of people."

During the briefing, the minister warned that strict actions will be taken against those who’ll create anomalies while distributing TCB goods.

 Tipu Munshi also spoke of recent commodity price spirals. He alleged that a section of unscrupulous traders are taking undue advantage of  fuel price hike, causing a big jump in commodity price.

Giving an example of the price of rice to explain what he meant, Tipu Munshi said, "Due to the increase in the

price of fuel oil, the price of rice should increase by 50 paisa per kg. But it has increased by Tk 4 per kg. They cash in on the opportunity." He said that the ministry is monitoring the market and hopes that the price will be under control by October.

 Besides, regarding the unusual increase in the price of eggs, he said, "If the price can be reduced by importing eggs, we can do that too, if necessary." 

He said that no decision has been taken yet on fixing the price of edible oil and a decision will be taken later.

 "Global oil prices are falling, and the dollar price is increasing. The price will be fixed by coordinating these two," Tipu Munshi said.

 Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary of the Commerce Ministry, Brigadier General Md Ariful Hasan, Chairman of TCB, and AHM Shafiquzzaman, Director General (DG) of Directorate of National Consumers Right Protection, among others, were present during the briefing.