DHAKA, March 19, 2023 (BSS) - Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi today said that essential item sugar would be available with Taka 5 less per KG during the Holy Month of Ramadan since the retail price of sugar would be Taka 4.50 less per KG due to the reduction of import duty and VAT.
"Considering this, the traders have been requested to reduce sugar price by Taka 5 per KG and they have agreed to this proposal. Sugar imported under tariff facility would be available in the first week of Ramadan," he said.
The Commerce Minister said this after a taskforce meeting to review the price of commodities and markets at the Commerce Ministry conference room at the Secretariat today.
He said that sugar imported under tariff facility is yet to be available and it would be available in the first week of Ramadan.
He said that usually the millers sell sugar to the traders at mill gates with an excess price of Taka 5 to 6 per KG, but they have assured of selling sugar at the price of mill gates through truck sell, which will reduce the price of sugar by Taka 5 to 6 per KG.
Reiterating that there would be no crisis of sugar during the Ramadan, Tipu said that with the current stock of sugar and with sugar in the pipeline, there would be no shortage in supply also.
Earlier on February 26, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) withdrew duty on import of sugar.
Referring to the meeting with the businessmen, the Commerce Minister said that there is sufficient stock of essentials like edible oil, onion, chickpeas, lentil and vegetables in the country while there is no chance of shortage of commodities and price escalation.
Urging the esteemed consumers not to resort to any kind of 'panic buying' centering the Holy Month of Ramadan, he said that media can play a positive role in this regard through creating awareness among the consumers.
Regarding onion, he said that import of onion from India is being monitored while the onion market would be monitored intensively during the Ramadan. "If the price increases for any reason, then import of onion would be increased from India," he added.
Mentioning that the consumption of items like eggplant, tomato, cucumber, chicken and other agricultural items increase during Ramadan, Tipu said that transportation of such items would be monitored strictly so that there is no incident of extortion side by side the Ministry of Home Affairs and the concerned district administrations have been requested in this regard.
The Commerce Minister informed that some one crore families are being provided essential items of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) at subsidized rates benefitting some five crore people adding that some 20 to 30 percent of the country's people are getting benefits from the TCB.
The items of TCB would be provided twice during Ramadan as the government has to incur a subsidy of Taka 9,800 crore for TCB in a year.
Answering to a question, he said that stern action would be taken if any trader or businessman tries to make artificial crisis and try to increase the price of commodities while the government has taken necessary steps to ensure sufficient supply of chicken in the kitchen markets.
Replying to another question, he said although the price of edible oil has declined in the international market, but the exchange rate of US dollars is still high in the country for which the consumers in the local market are yet to get the full benefits.
Presided over by the Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission Chairman M Faizul Islam, TCB Chairman Brig Gen M Ariful Hasan, Director General of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection AHM Shafiquzzaman, FBCCI senior vice president Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, representatives from various departments, agencies and City, Meghna, Desh, Bashundhara and TK Groups attended the meeting.
Earlier in the morning, the Commerce Minister inaugurated the sell operations of essential items of Deshbondhu Group in front of the Jatiya Press Club centering the Holy Month of Ramadan.
He urged all the major conglomerates to come forward in such noble endeavors.
The Deshbondhu Group will sell a good number of essential items like rice and sugar at subsidized rates everyday (except the government holidays) from 10:00 am in front of Bangladesh Bank, New market, Kawranbazar, Kolmilata market and such operations would continue throughout the month.