Story in: January-2023

Story: In a fire-fueled consumer goods market, TCB products are a handful of consolation

In a fire-fueled consumer goods market, TCB products are a handful of consolation

According to the calculations of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the prices of large, medium and small grain pulses have increased by 20, 31 and 31 percent respectively in the last year. And the price of sugar has increased by 45 percent. Since the Russia-Ukraine war, there has been instability in the commodity market in the country. The prices of all kinds of daily commodities including rice, dal, sugar, and soybeans have increased gradually.

In this situation, the government increased the scope of the sale of daily commodities at subsidized prices for low-income people through TCB. These subsidized products, in many cases half the market price, are sold to card-holding households. It reduces the pressure of market consumption on the family of low-income people.

The market pressure has not subsided yet. The prices of most daily products are increased. Meanwhile, TCB also hiked the prices of two of its products, which will increase the cost for low-income people. In mid-November, the price of OMS flour under the government's food-friendly program was increased by Tk6 per kg. This time TCB increased the prices of pulses and sugar.

The government has decided to increase the price of pulses and sugar sold to one crore households through cards across the country by Tk 5 per kg. These products are sold at subsidized prices through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).

Last Tuesday (December 13, 2022) in a press release, the government agency TCB informed the information. The new prices will come into effect on Wednesday (December 14, 2022) with the commencement of the sale of December products. Accordingly, per kg sugar is being sold at Tk 60 instead of Tk 55 and dal at Tk 70 instead of Tk 65. However, TCB has kept the price of soybean oil unchanged at Tk 110 per liter.

According to TCB, one crore families with cards in all metropolitan cities, districts and upazilas of the country will get these products. At this time, the city corporation, district and upazila administration will provide full cooperation. The sale of these products will be conducted from the distributor's shop or the designated permanent shop as per the scheduled date and time.

Meanwhile, TCB's market price list dated December 13, 2022, showed that large grain lentils are being sold at Tk 100 to Tk 110 per kg in the market. The price of medium grain lentils is now Tk 125 to Tk 130. The price of small grain lentils is kept at Tk 135 to Tk 140 per kg. And the price of sugar per kg is falling from 110 to 115 taka. However, the price of these products is slightly higher than the market price of TCB.

There have been various changes in the activities of TCB in the last year. In particular, to restore order in the sales process, the government is stopping the sale of products by trucks and giving products through distributors. Finally, to curb the irregularities, the government limited this open-to-all program to one crore families. Then it was decided, these one crore families will be given daily commodities through cards. Apart from this, the government is now selling daily commodities at least once every month. Among the thousands of daily problems of low-income people, these everyday products available at low prices are like a handful of peace.

Amidst thousands of daily problems of low-income people, amid the burning prices of products in the market, these everyday products available at low prices are like a handful of consolation for them. –Editor


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