SUBSTANDARD TCB GOODS
Dealers unwilling to take deliveryStaff Correspondent
Most of the dealers of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh across the country are unwilling to take commodities from the corporation because of their low quality and high price.
The corporation has been supplying five products – soya bean oil, gram, date, sugar and red lentil – since the beginning of Ramadan and the dealers have been asked to take delivery of their allotments in two phases, said TCB sources.
Most of the dealers have taken delivery of their allotments in the first phase but are yet to do so in the second phase, the sources said.
They said that the TCB had slashed mobile sale of commodities to 10 spots from 25 since August 4 in the capital.
A number of TCB dealers alleged that the quality of the TCB products was very low compared to the products available on the market and the price margin was insignificant.
Consumers of TCB products said the quality of sugar and red lentil supplied by the corporation was fairly good but that of soya bean oil was low.
They particularly complained about the quality of the grams and dates imported by the TCB.
‘I buy red lentil and sugar from TCB outlet as their quality is fairly good, but I avoid other products they offer because of their low quality,’ said rickshaw puller Md Habib at city’s Shantibag after buying sugar from Shantinagar truck sale point.
Md Hamidul, a TCB salesman at Shantinagar truck sale point, told New Age that their sale of oil, dates and grams had dropped considerably but sugar and red lentil that were of good quality were selling fairly well.
TCB dealers said that they were incurring losses as the quality of TCB products was not good and the price margin between the TCB products and the market products was very small.
Md Ramzan Ali, director (administration, sales and distribution) of TCB, however, denied the dealers’ allegation and claimed that the quality of all the products supplied by the corporation was fairly good.
He hoped the dealers would take delivery of their remaining allotments in the next three working days before the Eid vacation.
The TCB director said that the corporation had reduced the truck sale points as the demand had reduced in the city.
At TCB outlets, bottled soya bean oil was selling at Tk 121 a litre, sugar at Tk 50 a kg, red lentil at Tk 105 a kg, grams at Tk 66 a kg and date at Tk 80 a kg.
But on the retail markets, soya bean oil was selling at Tk 135 a litre, sugar at Tk 54 to Tk 56 a kg, red lentil at Tk 115 to Tk 120 a kg, grams at Tk 80 to Tk 100 a kg and date at Tk 100 to Tk 350 a kg.
According to TCB officials, the corporation had procured 20,000 tonnes of sugar, 8,000 tonnes of edible oil and 10,000 tonnes of red lentil ahead of Ramadan and one third of the dealers took delivery of their allotments.
The TCB information officer Humayun Kabir told New Age that about 2,000 dealers out of 2,952 had withdrawn 6,000 tonnes of sugar and 1,200 tonnes of soya bean oil before Ramadan, and only 900 dealers had taken delivery of 1,800 tonnes of sugar and 360 tonnes of soya bean oil in the month of Ramadan.
Chandpur General Store at city’s Karwanbazar, also a TCB dealer, had not taken delivery of TCB products for two years simply because their quality was low.
Borhan Uddin, who runs the store, told New Age that not only profit but quality and trust are also the targets of businessmen.
He said substandard products destroyed the credibility of business.
Another dealer Aminur Rahman Amin, also owner of Amin General Store, of the same market told New Age that the price margin of TCB products and market products were very nominal.
He said that the customers would not buy low quality products when quality goods were available on the market at reasonable prices.
Amin also alleged that the quality of date, gram and soya bean oil imported by the TCB was very low but the prices were not lower than that of the same products available on the retail markets.
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