9 months ago

Stabilising market

DCs asked to act against traders' sleaze

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The government has asked the deputy commissioners (DCs) to act against shady traders and monitor the commodity market effectively in order to keep goods prices stable and supply normal.

It has also instructed them to regularly sit with districts and upazila monitoring committees on essential items, according to sources.

Commerce ministry on Monday issued an order to this end following a set of recommendations mooted by the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC), they say.

The BTTC suggested taking action against unscrupulous traders with intent to check manipulation in the essential commodity market.

It also recommended that the ministry take steps as advised by district and upazila committees according to the 'The Essential Commodities Distribution and Distributor Recruitment Order-2011.'

"We've received some recommendations from the BTTC and instructed DCs to foil any malpractice in the commodity market across the country," says a high official.

"If any abnormal situation arises in the prices and supply chain of essential commodities, the committees will able to act rightly in this connection," he adds.

According to article 19 (2) and (3) under the order, the monitoring committees are expected to hold at least one meeting every month.

They will also hold more than one meeting if needed.

Besides, the committees are stipulated to provide the minutes of their meetings to the commission regularly.

But most of them did not comply with the provision.

Only eight district committees sent the minutes and no upazila committee has yet to send any such documents. The prices of a good number of essential commodities, including rice, egg and oils have increased.

Currently, food inflation has been reached a peak due to the appreciation of dollar and international transport costs, among other reasons.

Seizing chances, trends in the price hike of some locally-produced essential items have been noticed although there is no relation with the global market and dollar price.

A negative impact is hitting the purchase power of people which is unexpected.

Taking commoners' interest into consideration, the BTTC suggests that the government take action against dishonest traders to stop such sharp practice.

At a recent press event, commerce minister Tipu Munshi said the government was trying to control the prices of essential items.

But he said it was not possible to bring the prices under control overnight.

Mr Tipu admitted that people are suffering immensely due to this unusual situation.

"The prime minister is trying [to resolve it]. The price will be affordable within next October," he hopes.

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