TCB drive afoot to keep Ramadan market cool  

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will build an enough advance stock of five Ramadan essentials in an effort to help ensure smooth supply of those items during the fasting month beginning in July next, said officials.

The five items are edible oil, sugar and lentil, gram/chickpea and date the demand of which skyrockets during Ramadan because of their high consumption, knocking up the prices, UNB reports.

Though the officials would not say anything about the stock quantity right now, they told UNB that the TCB dealers will get the uninterrupted supply of the essentials as per their requirement during the holy month.

“There had been no problem over the last two years. There’ll be no problem this year, too,” TCB Chairman Brig Gen Sarwar Jahan Talukdar told UNB on Saturday.

TCBResponding to a question, he said they are preparing to keep up the success of the last two years. “Stocks are being built up…products are coming gradually. There’ll be no crisis.”

Asked about the prices of the essentials to be provided by the TCB, Sarwar Jahan said they would fix the prices in consultation with the Commerce Ministry. “We’ll fix the prices 15-20 days ahead of Ramadan.”

Talking to UNB, TCB spokesperson M Humayun Kabir said there is already an adequate stock of edible oil, sugar and lentil right now.

Gram/chickpea and date (imported) will arrive here by May 10-12 and the first week of next month respectively, he said.

Responding to a question, the TCB spokesperson said the TCB will release the five Ramadan essentials to the market in three phases.

“The first installment will be released 15 days before the Ramadan starts, the second installment in the first week of Ramadan while the third installment will be released in the middle of Ramadan,” Kabir added.

He said some 174 open trucks will remain engaged in selling the TCB essentials across the country.

In Dhaka, there will be 25 trucks, 10 in Chittagong, five in each divisional city while two in each upazila.

An official at the Commerce Ministry said the ministry would ask the TCB to start selling five essential commodities in the open market 15 days before the Ramadan begins.

The official said the Commerce Ministry would remain active so that no artificial crisis is created in the market by slowing down supply, and control illogical price hike.

The government has taken required preparations to keep prices of essentials stable and within the commoners’ reach during the month of Ramadan and the TCB import would also help check any artificial crisis during Ramadan, said the official.