The government will procure a large quantity of essential goods ahead of Ramadan to avert a shortfall, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday.
"We have decided to procure 30,000 tonnes of edible oil and 25,000 tonnes of sugar," said the finance minister at a press conference after a cabinet committee meeting on government purchase at the secretariat on Wednesday.
According to the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase, the government will procure edible oil in two stages. 25 percent of the edible oil will be procured in two litre bottles, and the remaining 75 percent in five litre bottles. The price of edible oil has been fixed at TK91.95 per kg for the two-litre bottles, and at Tk90.95 per kg for five-litre bottles.
Meanwhile, the price of sugar has been fixed at Tk 61.35 per kg.
"The government will buy the commodities through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh to maintain the supply chain," said Kamal.
City Sugar Mills Ltd will supply sugar and Super Oil Refinery Ltd will supply edible oil.
The finance minister said, "The government is very aware of the price of essentials and of their availability during the month of Ramadan. That is why we have taken this initiative as a precautionary measure."
"Not only sugar and edible oil, we will also procure other essential items if necessary. We sometimes may not follow the rules to procure the essential commodities because we are prioritising people's emergency needs," the minister added.
"The government is also ready to give a waiver for any commodities. I hope we do not face any crisis during Ramadan," he said.
The government has already asked its market monitoring agencies to step up vigilance so that no one can raise commodity prices in the name of short supply due to the coronavirus epidemic in China.
The ministry of commerce, at an emergency meeting on February 07, gave instructions over this issue to the TCB, the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP), and its own market monitoring teams.