Open market sales of daily essentials by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh began on Monday with scanty stocks having sold out within a few hours in the city.
TCB started selling four commodities in the open market in a bid to keep their prices affordable to consumers during the coming Ramadan.
Consumers, however, said that the TCB operation would not be able to intervene into the commodity market as the allocation of produ cts for OMS was insufficient.
On the first day of the TCB operation, truck sales outlets in the city witnessed huge crowed of buyers, but many of them returned empty-handed as the products sold out within a few hours.
‘I have been waiting for long at the queue for buying sugar but when I reached to the truck the item was sold out. Many people like me returned empty handed as the supply of products, specially sugar, was scanty,’ Monir Miah, a consumer who was waiting at Khamarbari outlet, told New Age.
He said that prices of commodities including sugar, soya bean oil, red lentil and gram were comparatively lower at the TCB outlets than the market, but the government should increase the supply of the items for truck sale.
According to official data, the TCB on Monday started selling essential commodities through 187 open trucks across the country.
Of the total trucks, 35 were deployed in Dhaka city, 10 in Chittagong, five each in every divisional headquarters and two each in every district town.
The TCB allocated 300-400 kilogram of sugar, 250- 300 kg red lentil, 300- 400 litre soya bean oil and 300- 400 kg gram everyday for each truck, the TCB data showed.
At the TCB outlets, sugar was being sold at Tk 55 per kg, soya bean oil at Tk 106-Tk 85 per litre, red lentil at Tk 80 per kg and gram at Tk 70 per kg.
From the beginning of Ramadan, dates will be sold at Tk 120 per kg at the sale centres.
TCB spokesperson M Humayun Kabir told New Age that the items were sold out within few hours because it was the first day of the OMS operation.
The OMS would be continued up to Eid-ul-Fitr to meet the demand of essentials, he said.
Most of the items of the outlet in front of Bangladesh Secratariet were sold out within 2:00pm while more than 10 people were in the queue.
A salesman said that huge number of people rushed to the outlet for buying Ramadan items on Monday.
The demand for sugar was very high as the price of the item shot up in the market, he said.
In the city markets, sugar was selling at Tk 70-72 a kg, soya bean oil at Tk 100-106 a litre, red lentil at Tk 90-140 a kg and gram at Tk 90-110 a kg on Monday.
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