The government on Tuesday cancelled leave for officials of two organisations under the commerce ministry in a bid to ensure commodity supply and continue market monitoring to keep prices stable.
Officials of the organisations — Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) and Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) — will oversee commodity markets so that unscrupulous traders cannot cash in on grocery items amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, said the commerce ministry in a press release.
Assistant Director of the DNCRP Abdul Jabbar Mandal told The Business Standard that the commerce ministry also formed a cell to look after the market. Consumers can lodge formal complaints to the cell by calling to 02-9545853 .
Moreover, the DNCRP hotline 16121 takes complaints about overpricing. People can also file complaints by calling the DNCRP at the following numbers: 01819404730, 1711273802 and 01714461182
In the meantime, TCB in a press statement said it will continue open-truck sales to stabilise the price of grocery items. Moreover, the TCB control room can be reached at 02-55013477 for sales related queries.
On Monday, Bangladesh decided to shut all government and private offices from March 26 to April 4 in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Emergency services such as hospitals, Fire Service and Civil Defence will not be affected by the shutdown. Banks will provide services on a limited scale. Despite the government's repeated assurance, people in Dhaka have been buying essential items in large quantities for the last couple of days, fearing a turn for the worse of the coronavirus situation.
The panic buying has shown no sign of slowing down as the government imposes tougher restrictions on movement to curb the Covid-19 spread. The price of rice alone surged by Tk10-15 per kilogram in the last one week or so. People are stocking-in on grocery items fearing a extended lockdown.