The parliamentary watchdog on commerce ministry has recommended creating a comprehensive database of key essentials like potato and onion to prevent price spiral in the future.
The database will have estimates of 5-6 months' demand of the key essentials and the items should be stocked in advance through imports in consultation with the retailers, wholesalers and importers, they added.
The parliamentary standing committee also suggested taking steps to identify this kind of problems and solving those in future through holding discussion with the ministers and secretaries of finance, commerce, agriculture and food.
The JS watchdog made the recommendations at its 10th meeting at the parliament building on Tuesday, presided over by committee chairman Tofail Ahmed.
The committee laid emphasis on increasing production of various commodities to meet the local demand.
The meeting was told that advance steps have been taken to meet the demand of essential items like lentils, edible oil, sugar, chickpeas, dates and onion so that the price remains stable during Ramadan.
Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has set a target to procure 35,000 metric tonnes (MT) of edible oil, 50,000 MT of lentils, 38,000 MT of chickpeas, 10,000 MT of dates, 0.15 million MT of onion, 1,000 MT of ginger and 1,000 MT of garlic in FY 2020-21.
The recommendations came in the backdrop of the ongoing volatile market of essential commodities like rice, potato, onion, edible oil, vegetables during the covid-19 pandemic.
Potato price increased by Tk 20-25 per kg in the past couple of weeks. It was still selling at Tk 50-55 despite the government has fixed the highest wholesale and retail price at Tk 30 and Tk 35 respectively.
Onion increased upto Tk 40-50 per kg recently. It was selling at Tk 100 (local) and above per kg. The price of imported onion is selling at Tk 80-90. But there was no reflection of the government's instruction in the price of potato.
However the price of onion went up to as high as Tk 300 last year. The price of loose soybean oil also shot up to Tk 88-95 per litre, increased by Tk 5-10 per litre.
The commerce ministry assured of slashing Tk 2.0 per litre at mill gate. But there is no impact of the government decision in the oil market.