Price-hike of essentials ahead of Ramadan is a regular phenomenon in our country. This year too, unscrupulous traders have shot up the prices of consumer goods when a couple of days are left for the Muslim month of fasting. But, what is the mystery behind the routine price spiral? If we ponder over the issue for sometime then we come to a conclusion that this is because of the greedy traders’ lust for profits by holding innocent consumers hostages.
We have written over the burning issue so many times, but all our efforts turned futile. Now, time has come to bring the wild horse of price-spike under control. The government should immediately take a tough stance against the dishonest traders to bring down prices of essentials so that devout Muslims can do fasting without any hassle. Prices of most of the commodities are already high in the market. But the prices kept rising on various pretexts.Lots of people have turned jobless due to the pandemic. Alongside, the income of employed people has decreased. Even if the existing prices remain stable then it would have been difficult for consumers to manage things. In this situation, another price-spike is completely unwarranted. Now, the authorities concerned should fix retail prices of essential commodities. They should take such measure in the interest of consumers. Traders must openly display the price charts in their shops. Mobile court drives should be conducted regularly for the purpose of market monitoring.
In case of selling goods beyond the fixed prices, there should be a provision of punishment or realising fines from the law flouters. Law enforcers should launch a crackdown on the traders if they are found to be hoarding the necessary items. The practice of black marketing should be curbed with an iron fist. At the same time, the authorities must ensure smooth supply of consumer items so that the profit-mongers cannot hike their prices in an excuse of short supply. The TCB should run OMS programme round-the-year to keep prices of essentials stable. The Ministry of Commerce can take a host of other measures if deemed necessary to maintain market stability.