Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun has directed the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) to increase its monitoring at super shops and other food shops across the country to ensure safe food during the upcoming Ramadan.
He said, "We have to ensure supply of safe and quality food items for sehri and iftar."
The minister has also asked the BSTI to keep every emergency service open alongside examining the quality of essential items during the holy month of Ramadan.
He issued the instructions on Thursday at a meeting in his office to set an effective strategy to ensure safe food for the people in Ramadan.
State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder was present at the meeting.
The industries minister emphasised making locally-produced sugar available at all super shops in Dhaka and other divisional cities.
Meanwhile, the BSTI has collected samples of the items that are vastly consumed in iftar and sehri. Testing of these items is underway at the laboratory. The industries minister has asked the BSTI to publish the test results immediately.
He emphasised expanding the range of programme that BSTI has taken recently to make all including producers, traders and consumers aware of the production and consumption of quality food items.
"The prime minister has directed all to produce food items on every inch of arable land," he said. "To this end, every fertiliser factory has been putting its best effort to continue uninterrupted production."
He also put importance on continuing the initiatives which have already been taken to make sure an uninterrupted supply of fertiliser to farmers.
Saying the government has adequate stock of fertiliser, he said it will be possible to supply as per farmers' demand.
The minister said the cottage, small and medium entrepreneurs have been affected the most by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and assured them of all kinds of support from his side in selling and marketing their products.
He directed the SME Foundation to help the SME entrepreneurs make up their losses by selling their products through e-commerce.
State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder said it has to be ensured that the only affected entrepreneurs get the benefit from the stimulus package the prime minister had declared for the cottage, small and medium entrepreneurs.
"No one will be spared if any corruption takes place here," he warned.
Majumder directed the BSFIC to pay arrear wages to employees and workers of the sugar mills under the industries ministry.
He said Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) has to stay alert so that the salt cultivation continues at the field level and the growers in no way get affected due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said an opportunity of purchasing quality products produced by industries ministry's different organisations under international tenders.
Majumder said it has to ensure that the government offices use items produced by different institutions under the industries ministry.
Industries Secretary Md Abdul Halim presided over the meeting.
The chairmen of the BSFIC, Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), the BSCIC and Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC), directors general of the BSTI and Bangladesh Industrial and Technical Assistance Centre, and managing director of SME Foundation and senior officials of the industries ministry were present at the meeting.
The meeting was told that there is a stock of more than 65,000 tonnes of sugar at the 15 sugar mills under the BSFIC.
Besides, there is a stock of 9.36 lakh tonnes of urea at fertiliser factories and depots under the BCIC.
At the same time last year, the total stock of urea was 8.6 lakh tonnes.
The total demand for urea in the current fiscal year is 25.5 lakh tonnes. So far more than 22.69 lakh tonnes of fertiliser have been supplied to the farmers.