The government has reconstituted 28 teams aiming to monitor the price movement and deal with abnormal situation in the city markets, officials said.
The government intends to closely monitor the price situation with a view to keeping the prices of essentials within the buying capacity of the common people, a high official of the commerce ministry said.
The reconstituted watchdog panels have been inspecting the wholesale and retail markets of essential items in Dhaka city. The teams were formed on June 29 last.
The ministry has deployed four teams per day, including weekends to monitor at least eight markets in Dhaka city, said a desk official familiar with the move.
They also collect price data and gather information on stock and supply of essentials during their drives.
If any kind of abnormal situation arises in the market, the teams will take action by punishing the traders or the businesspeople concerned through on-the-spot mobile courts.
The teams will also take stringent action against the manipulators using the existing legal provisions of the country to ensure normal prices of essential items.
The 28 teams have already been formed, each consist of eleven members each drawn from different ministries, government agencies and business associations, according to the commerce ministry information.
The teams also comprise representatives from the ministries of commerce, agriculture, home, industries and food, and the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission, Dhaka City Corporation, the district administration of Dhaka, Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
The teams formed for the Dhaka city markets started their drives on July 01 last. The drives will continue until December next.
Each monitoring team will be visiting the markets concerned as per the suggestion of additional secretary (IIT) of the commerce ministry that will coordinate by joint secretary (IIT-2) of the ministry.
The members of the teams will have to report to the MoC at 9.15 am every day, according to a market monitoring plan.
The teams will also put forward necessary recommendations to the secretary of the commerce ministry after monitoring the respective wholesale and retail markets.
"We often sit to evaluate the activities of the teams monitoring the prices of essential items in the capital city. We direct the teams to be more careful about their respective duties and activities throughout the year," a senior official of the commerce ministry told the FE.
The prices of essential commodities remain stable due to steps taken by the government, he claimed.