Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Monday that they were working to provide smart cards in place of current family cards to 10 million low-income families to give them essential products at affordable prices.
He disclosed the development while speaking as the chief guest at the opening ceremony of the second phase of TCB product sales programme of essential products in Dhaka’s Uttara during Ramadan.
The programme is covering one crore low-income families, which have designated family cards across the country.
Tipu said that the piloting work of conversion of family cards to smart cards has been completed in Dhaka North City Corporation, Narayanganj and Barishal.
“All handwritten cards will be converted into smart cards with QR codes. Changing these cards to smart cards will make it easier to eliminate irregularities,” he said.
The minister also opened temporary warehouse of TCB products in Uttara.
Regarding stocking the TCB products, the minister said, “We have enough stocks of products. If we compare with the previous few years, it is in a strong position for supply and distribution.”
He expressed dissatisfaction for not praising good work by his ministry.
“Everyone raises questions when the price of a product increases. But when the price goes down, nobody says anything. Along with criticism, good work should also be praised,” he said.
When asked why the prices in the market are higher even though the stocks of products are sufficient, he told reporters that the Ministry of Commerce does not control the prices of all products in the market.
There is a misconception in this regard that the increase of prices means that the Ministry of Commerce is involved. Certain products including broiler chicken, meat and fish are handled by other ministries, he said.
“Still, we are working in coordination with the concerned ministries so that it is possible to keep the prices reasonable,” the minister said.