'TCB cardholders to get oil at Tk 110 per litre from June'
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will resume selling edible oil at Tk 110 a litre to one crore TCB cardholder families in June, Senior Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said today.
"We are procuring edible oil from local and international markets to sell at lower prices as the domestic prices have gone up thanks to a hike in global crude edible oil rates," Ghosh told The Daily Star.
This time the government is trying to import edible oil directly through the TCB, he said.
Bangladeshi foreign missions have already been contacted for procuring edible oil through the state-run corporation, Ghosh also said.
"This time the price may be little higher than the previous rate of Tk 110 a litre because of a rise in its local rates."
"The price is not fixed yet. But we will try to fix it at Tk 110 a litre for bottled oil," the senior commerce secretary also said.
The TCB cardholder families have been provided with edible oil at Tk 110 a litre for a month before the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Moreover, the open market sale of oil along with few other basic commodities by the TCB will restart through 400 trucks in Dhaka and other divisional cities in the middle of May, Ghosh said.
"We will hold a meeting with the refiners, millers and wholesalers of edible oil on May 9 or 11 to know the situation of stocks, imports and global market of edible oil."
Last month, the commerce ministry requested the National Board of Revenue to cut import duty on canola, sunflower, and olive oil to 10 percent from the exiting 32 percent by July this year to boost their imports.
The current market situation is so volatile that the ministry may ask the NBR to implement the duty cut by this month, he added.
The commerce ministry has been trying to bring in palm crude edible oil from alternative sources like from Malaysia and the USA as its main producer Indonesia banned export of its refined and crude versions from April 28.
Bangladesh has been foreseeing a supply crunch of edible oil with the proposed export ban as the country sources 85 percent of its annual requirement of 11 lakh tonnes of crude palm oil from Indonesia.