Low quality and high prices are repelling consumers away from the food products being sold by the dealers of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) in Magura.
Dealers assigned to the open market sale have complained about dwindling public interest in the products channelled by TCB.
Sources said products being sold by TCB, which are aimed mostly towards less-wealthy shoppers, are either of poor quality or pricier than expected.
In some cases, the prices of TCB’s products outstrip that of those in the local market.
Soybean oil is being sold at Tk121 per litre, three taka more than the regular market price.
Sugar is selling for Tk44 per kg, which is Tk46 in the local market. Moreover, consumers complained that the quality of the sugar being sold was “substandard”.
Also, one kilogram of chickpea is selling at Tk60, whereas its running market price is Tk62.
Because of this gap between reality and public expectations, dealers say they cannot attract enough consumers to their selling points.
They also alleged that the government’s campaign to draw people’s interests in this regard has not been “satisfactory”.
There are a total of five dealers assigned by TCB authorities to sell their products in the district.
However, the shutters of their shops remain closed more often than they are open.
Sources said, two dealers under the Sripur upazila of Magura, Tareq Traders and Khandaker Traders, have already withdrawn their dealership.
When contacted, Md Nakib Hasan Tarafder, the Nejarat Deputy Collector of Magura, acknowledged the general people’s lack of interest in TCB’s goods.
“We will accelerate our campaign in favour of TCB within a short time,” he said.