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TCB to purchase 1.65cr litres of edible oil from local suppliers again




The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase approved some 10 proposals including procurement of edible oil by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, and fertiliser by the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation and the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation.

The TCB will again purchase a total of 1.65 crore litres of edible oil from three local companies to run its open marketing sale programme.

The state marketing agency TCB, a subordinate body of the Commerce Ministry, last week received a nod for procuring 2.25 crore litres of soybean oil and 15,000 metric tons of lentils from local suppliers for the same purpose.

Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase in its meeting on Wednesday approved three new separate proposals, placed by the commerce ministry on behalf of the TCB in this regard.

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal presided over the virtual meeting.

As per the decision of the CCGP meeting, the TCB will procure 55 lakh litres of soybean oil from each of the three companies—Super Oil Refinery Ltd., City Edible Oil Ltd and Meghna Edible Oil Refinery of Dhaka.

Each litre will cost Tk 185 and each of the companies will supply the edible oils through two-litres bottles as per the condition of the contract.

The entire consignment will cost Tk 305.25 crore as the TCB will pay Tk 101.75 crore to each of the three companies.

The Cabinet body also approved three separate proposals to import a total of 90,000 tons of fertiliser from two countries in three lots under G2G deals.

Of these, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture will import 30,000 MT of TSP fertiliser in a single lot from OCP, SA of Morocco while Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation will buy 90,000 MT of urea fertiliser Muntajat of Qatar and Kafco of Bangladesh in three separate lots.

The 30,000 MT fertiliser from Morocco will cost Tk 221.53 crore while each metric ton will cost $687.25 against the previous rate of $914.50.

Under the BCIC proposals, the Muntajat will supply a lot of 30,000 MT of bagged prilled urea fertiliser at a cost of Tk 206.59 crore. Each MT of fertiliser will cost 724.50 against the previous rate of $563.33.

The Muntajat will supply another lot of 30,000 MT bulk granular urea at Tk 209.10 crore. Each metric ton will cost $733.33 MT against a previous rate of $630.83.

The Committee also approved a proposal of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board to award contracts for printing, binding and supplying 11.20 lakh textbooks for the students from class I to VII for the 2023 session year at Tk489.25 crore.

The contracts will be awarded to 83 companies in 182 lots, said Abdul Barik, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division while briefing reporters.

A proposal of the Public Works Department under the Housing and Public Works Ministry received a nod to award a Tk 41.86 crore contract to Mazid Sons Constructions Ltd for external electrification works of 2 buildings at Rooppur Green City Housing Complex.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in principle approved two separate proposals to award contracts through direct purchase methods.

Of these, Bangladesh Army will execute dredging and river bank protection works at Majhirchar of Dohar area and elevation of ground level of army installations, wave protection and arrow defence works at Army Establishment in Mithamoin Upazila of Kishorganj District.


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PM Sheikh Hasina urges to ensure sustainable export growth & explore new markets



Hasina PM

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked all concerned to find a way out to ensure sustainable export growth and explore new global markets for Bangladeshi goods in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Prime Minister made the call while speaking at the 11th meeting of the National Committee on Export, at her official residence Ganabhaban in Dhaka on Monday (20 March).

PM said, “Steps will have to be taken to achieve sustainable export growth after analysing situation steamed from the global economic recession due to the war in Ukraine,” she told the 11th meeting regarding export at her official Ganabhaban residence here.

The prime minister also urged all concerned to diversify the export items and explore new markets for those alongside revitalising the local markets.

“A new scope has been created globally to explore new markets for Bangladeshi items due to enhanced demands for goods because of the war in Ukraine. We have to grasp the markets,” she added.

The premier also called for formulating a new export policy for another 4 or 5 years by revising, changing and improving the existing one going to expire by 2024.

She said the new export policy should be adopted by analyzing the ongoing global economic recession, sanctions, counter-sanctions for the war and the challenges and scopes possibly to be created in Bangladesh after the graduation from the LDC by 2026.

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Due to LC Opening Crisis Fruits, Dates price likely to hike amid Ramadan Ahead




Presently, the consumers will have to spend more money than usual in case of purchasing dates and other fruits—two essential items in iftar during Ramadan, due to importers’ difficulty in opening letters of credit (LCs) on time.

Price hike is a most common phenomenon ahead of the month of Ramadan in Bangladesh, and this year even more due to the LC opening crisis.

Already, the price of dates has doubled in the wholesale and retail markets and it will be more expensive ahead of Ramadan, said some businessmen.

The price of all types of dates has hiked in the local markets ranging from Tk 40 to Tk 160 per kg while different fruits range from Tk 30 to Tk 100 per kg.

Some traders said the prices of these essential iftar items will increase further during the month of Ramadan as they are facing difficulties in opening LCs which will push up the prices of dates and fruits.

According to the sources at Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the price of dates increased by 20 percent compared to the last year.

Milton, a shop owner in the Baridhara area, said “The price of dates went more expensive in the past month ahead of Ramadan and I was able to purchase a limited amount of dates due to the soaring price of it.

He also feared that the price of dates would be soared further in the month of Ramadan.

Habibur Rahman, a fruit trader said the price of every fruit has increased.

Whatsoever, ajwa variety of dates is being sold at Tk 750-800 which was available at Tk 600-700 last year. Mariam variety of dates is being sold at Tk 800-850 while the premium variety of dates is being sold at Tk 1000-1200 per kg.

According to the statistics of Bangladesh Bank, the import of dates has fallen by almost half compared to the demands of it but during Ramadan the demand for dates is about 50,000 tonnes.

In the past three months, only 22,000 tonnes of dates were imported which is 46 percent less than the last year. However, the authorities concerned related to import dates have opened LC of 29,000 tonnes dates in January, said sources at Bangladesh Bank.

Sirajul Islam, president of Bangladesh Fresh Fruits Importers Association, said the demand for dates increases three to four times during the month of Ramadan. Besides, there is a demand of 50,000-70,000 dates in the country in a year while 40,000-50,000 is needed in Ramadan alone, he said.

Referring to the opening of LC, Sirajul said “This year the traders faced difficulties in opening LCs in time as they had to open it by paying 100% cash margin while it was 5 percent. The small traders are the worst sufferers in opening LCs.”

The dates are being imported from the Middle East and Africa and dates were being stocked five-six months before the Ramadan, he added.

He also said that the price of dates may increase 30 percent in Ramadan due to the dollar crisis and transport cost caused by the fuel price hike.

If the government will take steps in unloading dates in ports on a priority basis, then there will be no instability in the market, said Sirajul.

Contacted, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, said “We’ll take necessary steps so that the consumers can purchase dates, the most essential items in iftar, at a tolerable price.”

He also assured of keeping monitoring the market to prevent volatile price hikes of dates.

Issuing a warning, the minister also said strict action will be taken against those involved in increasing the price of dates after creating an artificial crisis.

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TCB goods starts to sell amid Ramadhan ahead




The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has taken an initiative to sell 6 essential items to some 1 crore low-income groups of families ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

TCB will start selling 3 essential items – edible oil, sugar, dates and chickpeas and lentils—among such families from Thursday (March 9). These essential items will be sold in two phases. In the first phase selling of the items will start from Thursday across the nation.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will inaugurate the sales of essential items formally through a function at Tejgaon in the capital on Thursday.

The cardholders can buy the six goods at subsidized rates from the TCB’s specific sales points and dealers’ outlets. Any cardholder can buy 2 litres of soybean oil, 2 kg lentil, sugar, chickpea and 1 kg date at a time. All the specific card holders can buy sugar at Tk 60/per kg, date at Tk 100, lentils at Tk 70, chickpeas at Tk 50 and soybean oil at Tk 110 per liter.

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