Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday urged the businesspeople to do their businesses in an ethical manner throughout the year, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.
“Law enforcement agencies won’t spare any unscrupulous trader if he or she’s found guilty,” he said while addressing a seminar on ‘Ensuring rational price of essential commodities along with favorable law and order situation during the month of holy Ramadan.’
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) organised the seminar, which was attended by President of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Ghulam Rahman as a special guest.
The Home Minister said the government will show zero tolerance to extortionists, no matter he or she is a member of the police or civilian.
He said if a policeman is found guilty or corrupt, the government stands strong against him and take tougher action immediately.
About traffic congestions on highways, he urged drivers to abide by all traffic and road safety rules to avoid checking of highway police.
“Due to checking on highway, it sometimes creates gridlocks which are true,” he said.
The Home Minister requested the drivers of heavy vehicles not to overload their vehicles as it destroys the roads.
He also said the law-and-order situation during Ramadan this year will remain under control like the previous year. “Mobile courts will also be there in operation this year to protect contaminated food and ingredients.”
DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan said the prices of essential commodities have been increased by 17.51 percent between April and May in 2017 as per the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
He said the reasons behind this price spiral were traditional supply chain management, unabated stocking, lack of market monitoring, extortion in transportation sector, excessive traffic congestion, increase of transportation cost.
The DCCI chief said if the government reduces tariff and duty on essential consumer products, traders will be able to reduce the prices of those goods.
He also urged the law enforcement agencies to strongly handle extortion in transport sector as well as manage traffic jams in cities and highways.
Before Ramadan, speedy customs clearance of essential commodities mostly used during Ramadan in ports can ease the price hike.
Ghulam Rahman said sometimes they see price hike despite stable prices on the international market only due to uneven prices of Dollar.
He said huge traffic jams, container congestions in ports are some of the reasons behind the price spiral.
Dr Zia Rahman, a professor of Department of Criminology of Dhaka University, presented the keynote paper.
He said, “In Ramadan we see an unholy nexus or hidden syndicate which actually tries to manipulate the open market situation.”
This unholy nexus creates a gap of demand and supply of essential commodities, he said adding that they have to implement 'Protection of Consumer Rights Act' and 'Bangladesh Safe Food Act' properly to bring a change in the situation.