Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi assured that there would be no shortage of essentials in the market during Ramadan, urging consumers to not go for panicked buying.
“There is no reason for panic right now. Please don’t go for panicked buying,” he said at the sixth meeting of the Taskforce on Commodity Price at the Secretariat office in Dhaka on Sunday.
He also stressed that there would be no further hike in commodity prices at this moment.
He told journalists that the sugar price would come down by Tk 5 per kilogram as the government withdrew the import duty on it.
Tipu Munshi also reminded the businessmen of their social responsibility and said they can comfort the consumers during the holy month of Ramadan by keeping commodity prices at a tolerable level.
He informed that Deshbandhu Group has announced a truck sale of essential food items at subsidised prices, while some other groups are expected to follow, “which will have a positive impact on the market.”
Meanwhile, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) started a campaign to sell government-subsidised food to 10 million TCB card holding low-income families targeting Ramadan, which will eventually help 50 million people.
In reply to a question, he said that the ministry would step up market monitoring on the occasion of Ramadan.
He warned of taking stern actions against any move to raise commodity prices by creating an artificial crisis.
Six industrial groups have a stock of over 3.02 lakh tonnes of edible oil while five groups have a stock of 2.26 lakh tonnes of sugar, the Taskforce meeting was informed.
Besides, another 2.28 lakh tonnes of edible oil and 5.99 lakh tonnes of sugar are in the pipeline.
“The business groups have at least one and a half times more stock of edible
oil and sugar compared to the country’s demand. So, there will be no shortage of these two items,” the minister told reporters in reply to a question.
Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission Chairman Md Foyzul Islam, TCB Chairman Brig Gen Md Ariful Hassan, Director General of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection AHM Shafiuzzaman, FBCCI senior vice-president Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu and representatives of large consumer item groups attended the meeting.