The government has planned to sell six essential commodities to one crore poor of the country ahead of Ramadan at affordable prices through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said.
The commodities are onion, edible oil, red lentil, sugar, date and chickpeas, he said following a cabinet meeting at the secretariat on Sunday (February 20).
Tipu Munshi said the Commerce Ministry has been continuing truck-sale of essentials at affordable prices through 400 trucks. Initiatives have also been taken to sell six essential food items to one crore listed people in the upcoming Ramadan through the TCB at affordable prices.
The Commerce Minister mentioned that the government had planned to provide essentials to 50 lakh poor people during the month of Ramadan at affordable prices. Each of these 50 lakh people received Tk 2,500 grant from the government during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“But, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave directive to sell six essential food items to one crore (10 million), instead of 50 lakh (5 million) people. So, one crore of people will be given food items at affordable prices twice in a month after each fortnightly,” he said.
Referring to the selling of onion at high prices in the market, Tipu Munshi said onion prices are selling at high prices in the “interest of farmers.”
On the other hand, he said it is true that the ‘sufferings of people have increased somewhat’ due to increase of edible oil prices in the market, but they would have to face more crisis if businessmen had stopped import from the international market.
“Prices of some essential commodities have increased in the international market. Its impact has fallen on some essentials in Bangladesh. Initiatives have been taken to sell six essential commodities to one crore people in the country during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan. Now, the TCB sells essential commodities on 400 trucks. The number of trucks will be raised to 800. The TCB’s sale of essential commodities will be raised to six from the existing four,” he said.