TCB postpones sales of goods at subsidised prices for poor

A woman bought products after waiting for a long time at Mirpur Rd 14 in Bhashantek on Sunday, Mar 6, 2022. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove
The government has postponed the sales of groceries to the poor at subsidised prices through its trading arm under the so-called truck sale scheme.

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh on Sunday said it will sell cooking oil, lentil and sugar to 10 million families who have special cards for orderly distribution of the products in June.

It took the decision also to ensure that those really in need of the products get those, according to a notice.

The distribution of the cards among the beneficiaries is ongoing in Dhaka and Barishal.

The TCB said in a notice last week its dealers would begin selling soybean oil on trucks at up to 300 places across the country for 13 days from May 16. The price was kept unchanged at Tk 110 per litre amid a shortage a price hike. The TCB said it would also sell sugar at Tk 55 per kg, lentil at Tk 65 and gram at Tk 50 per kg.

Soybean oil was Tk 160 per litre in the retail market when TCB was selling the product at the unchanged rate last month before Eid-ul-Fitr. Now the new price has been set at Tk 198 per litre.

Businesses, sensing the price hike amid the Ukraine-Russia war, started stashing away cooking oil before Eid, creating a shortage during the festival. They intended to sell the products now after the price hike.

Authorities fined businesses for stashing away hundreds of thousands of litres of cooking oil in the past few days in a nationwide crackdown on illegal hoarding.

The so-called truck sale scheme drew flak after people from low-income families suffered in long queues amid a hike in prices during the coronavirus pandemic. Prices have soared further due to the Ukraine war.