Soybean oil, sugar, gram, dates and other TCB products are not being sold to the buyers unless they buy the sub-standard onions.
"If we don't take the onion, they are not selling anything else to us," complained a buyer.
Whereas, just before the beginning of the fasting month, TCB promised to provide different high quality daily essentials at affordable prices to customers across the country, the buyers said.
In reply to the allegation, TCB dealers said they also are being forced to act this way as the rotten onions were given from the government warehouses. We also are being forced to sell those to customers, they added.
However, without providing any explanation about why the onions are rotten, the TCB officials just said that the dealers have been instructed to sell the rotten onions separately.
During visits at TCB's outlets in the capital's different areas including Farmgate, Shahbag, Hatirpul and Press Club on Tuesday, it was found that in most places products are being sold through different packages.
At some outlets, customers are being bound to take rotten onions compulsorily as the product was included in the packages of the dealers.
However, at a few outlets, TCB products were being sold separately as claimed by the TCB officials.
Farida Akhter was buying onions, oil and pulses from a TCB truck at Farmgate. After leaving the spot and going a little way, she noticed that most of the onions were rotten.
She changed the packet from the seller. But after checking it again, she found that almost 60% were rotten this time also.
"I needed oil and pulses but they didn't give me anything as I did not agree to take onions," she told TBS.
"So, I was forced to take 5kg of onion, but most of it was rotten. I changed the packet but still it is so rotten," she said.
Not only Farida Akter, but all over the country, consumers are regularly facing this problem while buying TCB products.
Meanwhile, one of the conditions for selling TCB products is to maintain hygiene rules to prevent corona infection, but most of the sellers are not following the instruction due to negligence of authorities concerned.
Awal Hossain, a buyer of TCB products, told TBS that he bought TCB products standing in line for one and a half to two hours due to the low price. "As I need oil, sugar, pulses, I am being forced to take onion also," he said.
Buyers said that sometimes the quality of dates is very good and sometimes it is very poor.
Dealer Samsul Alam's representative Jamal Hossain sells TCB products at Farmgate. He said, "If we are supplied with rotten onions, we have to sell them. It is not possible to sell this onion after one day. That is why we sell the product on the same day as other products."
Dalim Hossain, who regularly buys TCB products at Hatirpul kitchen market, told TBS, "They do not sell any product outside the package. You have to buy five kg onion with two liters of oil. From there, 3kg onions can be used."
Md Saidur Rahman, TCB's Tejgaon warehouse officer, said there is no instruction to sell TCB products in packages, but dealers are selling onions and gram in packages as demand of those products is low.
"However, if a buyer wants to buy any product separately, the sellers are obliged to sell," he said, adding, "Onions become black because they come from outside and many people don't like big onions, so mistakenly think that those onions are rotten. But onions are not rotten if they are black."
He claimed that TCB has official instructions not to sell rotten onions.
Anisur Rahman, an official of TCB's regional warehouse at Chattogram's Bandartila, told TBS that since onions are perishable, some onions might rot. Sometimes TCB products are carried from one end of the country to the other; it might be a reason behind the onions being rotten. However, there is no obligation for the dealers to take onion.
TCB spokesman Humayun Kabir told TBS that TCB's products are sold every day through 3,000 dealers in 500 trucks across the country, including 100 in Dhaka.
Saying that TCB has no official instruction to sell any product in package form, he said, "Considering the humanitarian aspect, we do not bar the dealers from selling other products along with onions." But, he claimed that if it gets any complaint that dealers are forcing the consumers to buy one product compulsorily with another, TCB instantly takes action.