‘Govt-backed syndicate’ responsible for price hike of essentials, Rizvi says
BNP’s Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Monday blamed a ‘government-backed syndicate’ for an unusual price hike of daily essentials.
"The prices of daily essentials keep soaring at a time when people are struggling to make ends meet due to the fallout of the Covid-19. The prices of everything, including rice, pulses, oil, sugar and onion, are skyrocketing. But there’s no remedy,” he said at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, reports UNB.
He also said it seems a syndicate has established its dominance on the market under the patronage of the government and administration. “The price hike of essentials has made public life miserable, but the Awami League leaders are indulging in luxury.”
The BNP leader said the middle- and lower-income people are silently screaming to cope with the growing price hike of all commodities. “Running families have now become unbearable for them, but the government is indifferent to their sufferings.”
He also said the middlemen who are benefiting from the price hike are all involved with Awami League or its associate bodies. “The government has no surveillance in the market as its main focus is on indulging in plundering.”
Rizvi alleged that the commerce and food ministers themselves are businessmen and they have a link with the syndicate that is controlling the market and pushing up the prices of the essentials.
“Most speakers at a recent seminar blamed the Food Minister and the rice mills under his control for the increase in rice prices. The minister himself said the price of rice sometimes goes up due to the excessive greed of traders,” he observed.
Although Awami League promised to give people per kg of rice at Tk 10, Rizvi said the rice price in Bangladesh now is the highest in Asia.
Alongside rice, the BNP leader said the prices of onions and edible oil are soaring, but the Commerce Minister, a big businessman of the country, remains silent over the matter. “As per media reports, they (commerce minister and AL leaders) are involved in the syndicate which is cutting people's pockets.”
Rizvi also said the price of hilsa is very high this year as the government sent the national fish to India depriving the people of the country. “The price of hilsa is low there (in India), but in our country, it is out of reach of common people.”
Apart from commodity prices, he said, the tariffs of gas, electricity and water have also been increased. “The price of LPG was raised yesterday (Sunday). A profiteering and hoarding syndicate of Awami League is behind the rise in LPG price.”
The BNP leader said there is no alternative to ousting the current government through a movement to get rid of Awami League’s ‘misrule’ and ‘restore’ people’s rights and democracy through a credible election under a non-party administration.