The poor wait desperate while the well-to-do take more
Fair Price Sale, organized by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock to provide milk, eggs and meat at reasonable prices to the city’s poor and needy, proved to be not so fair, according to many consumers.
The initiative was taken to help those in need, but many affluent consumers were seen queuing to buy more than their fair share of produce at various fair-priced outlets in Dhaka on Monday.
The ministry chose 10 outlets in the city for the sales which started on Sunday. However, poor management of the sales process has been reported by many consumers.
Some managed to buy 4 to 5 kg of meat from the mobile vans while many had to leave empty-handed as the products were running out.
According to the rules, each person in line could buy a maximum of 1 kg of beef or mutton, 1 kg of chicken, a dozen eggs, two liters of milk. But some were seen buying 2-3 kg of meat, 5 liters of milk and 30 eggs at the Khamarbari sales centre.
As more and more people bought more produce, the Khamarbari outlet ran out of meat at 12 p.m. and milk and eggs at 12:45 p.m., leaving 12 shoppers still in the queue.
On the day the sale opened, Dr Monjur Mohammad Shahjada, Director General of the Department of Livestock Services, told The Business Standard that the initiative was taken mainly for the poor and needy.
Nurul Amin, a consumer, told TBS, “I came to buy the goods yesterday, but the sale was over by then. I couldn’t even buy meat after queuing at 11:30 a.m. today. today. They ran out of meat around 12 p.m..”
If those who have money buy 2-3 kg of meat, we will not be able to buy any, he said.
A person was seen buying 3kg of beef citing the name of a secretary. However, he did not mention which ministry the secretary belongs to.
When asked, salesman Mohammad Robin told TBS, “Look, a man came and took 3 kg of meat on behalf of a secretary. What can we do here?”
Another consumer, Liakat Ali, bought 2 kg of meat, 5 liters of milk and 30 eggs. He told TBS, “My house is in Kazipara area of Mirpur. I noticed the outlet while riding my motorbike and bought some necessary items.”
Another customer, Jahid Hasan, said it was not possible for him to buy meat because the price was high in the market. “After queuing for 45 minutes, I was able to buy products. I asked for 1 kg of chicken, but I received half a kg. But I received 2 liters of milk”, a- he declared.
Jahid said there was noticeable mismanagement in the sale otherwise it shouldn’t end so soon.
Mainly, 10 spots have been selected for sale – Abdul Gani Road, Khamarbari Roundabout, Japan Garden City, Mirpur 60ft Road, Azimpur Maternity, Nayabazar in Old Dhaka, Arambag, Notun Bazar, Kalshi and Jatrabari.
In mobile vans, a liter of pasteurized milk was priced at Tk60, beef at Tk550, mutton at Tk800, dressed broiler chicken at Tk200 per kg and four eggs at Tk30.
Sales will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until 28 Ramadan.
However, sales at two locations – Japan City Garden and Jatrabari – were suspended on Monday due to vehicle issues.
Khamarbari outlet supervisor Sanowar Hossain said some 100kg of beef, 20kg of mutton, 100kg of chicken, 1,500 pieces of eggs and 200 liters of milk were brought in today.
However, the beef sold out quickly as there was a huge crowd at the start. People from far away received 2 kg of meat instead of the usual amount.