During a recent briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Industry and Production, it was disclosed that sugar has become unavailable at utility stores.GM Utility Stores Corporation informed the Committee that attempts were made to procure sugar through eight tenders. However, these efforts were unsuccessful due to high prices, with only four sugar mills participating in the bidding process.
The GM Utility Stores Corporation further mentioned that a tender for 25,000 metric tons of sugar is currently open. Additionally, the corporation is exploring the possibility of acquiring confiscated sugar from attempted smuggling, as utility stores require a minimum of 30 metric tons of sugar per month.
Senator Fida Mohammad attributed the shortage to the influence of mafia and highlighted the irregularities in the supply of essential items to utility stores. He criticized the fact that people are forced to wait in long queues for hours to purchase essential goods.
In response, Committee Chair Khaleda Adeeb stated that the situation warrants an investigation and mentioned the possibility of forming a subcommittee if deemed necessary. The committee has also summoned the Managing Director of Utility Stores to attend the next meeting.
It should be noted that retail and wholesale prices of sugar have increased by Rs. 40 per kg and Rs. 2000 per 50 kg, respectively, in the past three months, disregarding the government’s recommended prices.