Plan to set up fair-price shops in Ramadan
Considering the high commodity prices on the domestic market, the government has decided to open fair-price shops (FPS) across the country for poor people in the month of Ramadan.
Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman announced the plan after a meeting with traders and government agencies at his ministry yesterday.
The proposed FPSs will be set up under the supervision of government agencies like the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) and the food ministry. Open-market sale (OMS) of rice would continue as usual.
Business bodies like the FBCCI and other chambers can also set up such fair-price shops.
The FPSs will be opened as part of the government effort to maintain stability in the prices of essential commodities like rice, onions, lentils, wheat and edible oils, according to the commerce adviser.
"We're considering many options to ensure price stability during the Ramadan…And the FPS is one of such options," he told reporters at a press briefing.
He said the meeting discussed the possibility of appointing Ansar members and Dhaka University students to run the fair-price shops in a bid to overcome manpower shortages.
On why edible-oil prices are not coming down on the local market despite the recent downdraught on the international market, Zillur said, "This a general complaint against the business community at large. We're not satisfied with their explanation. We'll monitor the matter."
He, however, said the government doesn't want to fix edible-oil prices as they are already coming down on the international market.
"The commerce ministry would request the Economic Relations Division (ERD) to examine the possibility of getting edible oils from the US government as food aid to face the exigencies during the Ramadan," he added.