Govt to sell potatoes, onions, lentil, oil at subsidized prices in capital

DHAKA, Nov 13, 2023 The government will sell essential items like potatoes, onions, lentil and soybean oil at subsidized prices in the capital through open trucks.

The low-income group people of the capital who do not have the TCB family cards would be able to buy these commodities.These commodities will be sold from tomorrow through some 30 open trucks every day in the two city corporation areas of Dhaka where some 9,000 families are expected to be benefitted.

Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, revealed this at a press conference held at Bangladesh Secretariat today.He informed that some 25 to 30 trucks, carrying full of lentil, soybean oil, potatoes and onions, would continue their sale operations in the capital from tomorrow through the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Each person can buy a maximum 2 kg of lentil, 2 liters of soybean oil, 2 kg of potatoes and 2 kg of onions. About 300 people can avail such essential items from each truck. These commodities will be sold among those people who do not have the TCB family cards. As a result, around 9,000 new families will be added to this facility.

Tapan said that from the open trucks, lentil will be sold at Taka 60 per kg, sugar at Taka 70 per kg, potatoes at Taka 30 per kg and onions at Taka 50 per kg while soybean oil at Taka 100 per liter.
He said for the time being, sugar will not be sold for a few days. Sugar will also be included in this program when this essential item is imported.

The Senior Commerce Secretary said anyone outside the purview of TCB’s one crore family card holders can buy these commodities. “If we can increase the collection of these commodities, then the scope of sales will be increased.”

Tapan said for the time being, this sale operations would continue in all working days while the operations would remain stopped on Friday and Saturday. Later, the operations of the program would continue throughout the week.He said that such commodities would be sold in different places every day so that the people in all areas of the capital get these essentials at affordable prices.

The Senior Commerce Secretary claimed that the prices of commodities have increased in the market due to the global situation and the increase in the exchange rate of the US dollars.

Mentioning that the government has taken all necessary measures to keep the market stable, Tapan said that around 10,095 metric tons of potatoes have so far been imported against the permission for importing 2 lakh metric tons of potatoes given by the Ministry of Agriculture.

On the other hand, he informed that permission for importing some 25 crore pieces of egg have so far been given whereas some 62,000 pieces of egg have so far been imported.

Tapan said, “Our aim is not to import eggs, rather to reduce the price of eggs. If the price falls, then there will be no problem even if the import becomes less. But, until the market becomes stable, potatoes and eggs will continue to be imported.”

The Senior Secretary of Commerce said, “We’ve got a significant response due to the import of eggs and potatoes. Instructions have been given from the Prime Minister’s office that potatoes will be sold at Taka 27 per kg from the cold storages. Potatoes will be sold from the cold storages in the presence of the representatives of the concerned district administrations.”

Noting that the TCB card holders would not be given potatoes right at this moment, Tapan said the concerned deputy commissioners would ensure the sale of potatoes at the government fixed price of Taka 36 per kg from Monday.

He also informed that the government has given instructions to banks and others concerned so that there is no crisis of US dollars in importing daily essential commodities such as edible oil, sugar, lentil and potatoes.

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