The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will triple the sale of essential commodities – such as edible oil, lentil and sugar – under subsidised prices in FY2022-23, when compared year-on-year.
The state-owned corporation will sell 7.15 lakh tonnes of commodities in the current FY, which was 2.11 lakh tonnes last year, TCB Chairman Brig Gen Md Ariful Hassan told.
The government had started selling a number of basic commodities at subsidised rates across the country among one crore families from March 21 this year, aiming to check the skyrocketing prices of such items in the local markets.
Products will be sold through one crore family cards distributed among the low income people. This initiative will cost Tk 9,840 crore.
TCB’s Ariful Hassan said, “We used to sell products openly through the trucks without a regular schedule, and the sales target for a year was determined that way. But now products are being sold through the family card system every month.
“A cardholder is getting 5 kg of products per month. So, we need to distribute 50,000 tonnes per month and 6 lakh tonnes per year. We are keeping 20 per cent more stock to deal with various disasters.”
For example, when there was a sugar crisis in the country, TCB sold sugar in the open market without the family card requirement, he said, adding that the government also plans to sell products on various occasions such as Eid and puja.
“Overall, the TCB’s operations have grown more than ever before. It has increased more than three times compared to last year,” he points out.
What goods are TCB selling?
According to commerce ministry sources, the TCB has set a sales target of more than 7.15 lakh tonnes of six essential commodities including edible oil, lentil, sugar, onion, date and chickpea for the current FY.
Among this target, more than 5.96 lakh tonnes of goods will be sold to the one crore family card holders, while an additional 1.19 lakh tonnes of goods will be reserved to meet additional demands of consumers during different festivals and possible disasters across the country.
According to the TCB, each and every family card holder will get a minimum package of 5 kg essential goods, including 2 litres of soybean oil, 2 kg of lentils and 1 kg of sugar every month throughout the year, except in the month of Ramadan.
Card holders will get a minimum 7 kg of goods under another package in the month of Ramadan.
The TCB will sell 2.76 lakh tonnes of lentils, 2.61 lakh tonnes of edible oil, 1.38 lakh tonnes of sugar, 0.12 lakh tonnes of chickpea, 0.15 lakh tonnes of date and 0.24 lakh tonnes of onion in FY23.
The corporation has estimated the possible cost of purchasing these products to be more than Tk 9,800 crore. Of them, Tk 1,173 crores will be for sugar, Tk 5,232 crore will be for edible oil, Tk 3,174 crore will be for lentils and rest of the fund will be spent on chickpeas, onions and dates.
Along with its regular sales, TCB increased their sales of essential commodities during various festivals, disasters, and also to meet the consumer demand in a bid to keep the retail market stable.
The Business Post.