5 months ago

Sugar market still freak

148 traders fined Tk 0.63m

File photo
File photo

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Updated :

Sugar market remained volatile for consecutive three days as of Saturday despite random drives by government agencies across the country.

The essential was sold at Tk 100-120 in different city areas against the government-set rate of Tk 90-95 a kg, according to kitchen market and grocery sources.

Fifty teams of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) conducted drives on the day.

Meanwhile, 148 traders were fined Tk 0.637 million for found guilty of price manipulation, DNCRP director Monjur Mohammad Shariar told the FE.

He said three teams in Dhaka also visited refining factories as well as wholesale and retail outlets while 21 trading houses were fined Tk 0.115 million here.

"Many retailers, who were selling sugar above the rate fixed by the government, even vanished their purchase vouchers at Mohammadpur, Karwanbazar, Mirpur Shah Ali, Uttara and Moulvibazar markets," said DNCRP asst director Rojobi Nahar.

DNCRP asst director Mohammad Hasanuzzaman said they visited three refiners, including City Group and Meghna Group in Narayanganj, the same day.

As per refiners' information, sugar supply has declined notably amid gas supply crunch, he added.

Mr Hasanuzzaman said the refiners have squeezed sugar supply, thus making an artificial crisis.

"But we didn't find any irregularities in the refining factories regarding price-fixing," he added.

Meanwhile, Chattogram DNCRP deputy director Md Faez Ullah told the media that they visited a sugar factory of S Alam Group and found lower than declared weight on sugar packets.

"We have warned them in this connection," he mentioned.

Mr Shariar, however, told the FE that the directorate will sit with traders at Karwanbazar and Moulvibazar on Sunday.

Another meeting involving all market players of sugar, including refiners, dealers, retailers, experts and media will be held at DNCRP on Monday.

"A report will be sent to the government after the Monday meeting," added Mr Shariar.

The FE visited different areas on Saturday only to find that half of the city's groceries ran out of sugar.

Some shops were selling loose sugar at Tk 100-110 and packet sugar at Tk 110-120 a kg.

Wholesale price of loose sugar at Moulvibazar in the city shot up to Tk 95-98 a kg on Saturday from Tk 84-85 a kg a week back, according to traders.

Bangladesh consumes 2.0-2.2 million tonnes of sugar annually of which it produces only 28,000 tonnes.

Major refiners brought 2.0-2.4 million tonnes to meet the gigantic domestic demand, according to the commerce ministry and the revenue board.

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