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Govt to step up efforts to keep commodity prices stable

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 26 August, 2021 12:00 AM
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Govt to step up efforts to keep commodity prices stable

The government will step up efforts to strictly monitor essential commodity markets across the country to fend off any artificial supply crisis or mismatch between international and local commodity prices.

Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh informed this while talking to reporters after a meeting with importers and relevant government agencies to protect consumer rights and set imported goods’ prices.

“There is no supply crunch of essential commodities in the local market. We sat today to ensure that nobody goes for hoarding or sell commodities at higher prices,” the commerce secretary said.

The government is now putting more emphasis on keeping the wholesale-retailer supply chain flawless to keep commodity prices within the reach of people despite global hikes in the prices of some commodities, he added. “The government will step in if anyone tries to cause sufferings to the consumers,” Tapan Kanti warned the wrongdoers. 

Rather than fixing new prices for some heated up items like edible oil and sugar, he said in the meeting they tried to devise ways to step up market monitoring at districts and upazila levels.

For keeping the supply chain uninterrupted, the government agencies will closely work with the businessmen, the meeting also decided.

The commerce ministry high ups informed that prices of edible oil and sugar won’t be raised in August. The committee formed to fix imported commodity prices will sit to fix new prices after the return of the minister.

Apart from supply chain management, the commerce ministry may propose the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to cut import duty on the heated up commodities, the commerce secretary hinted. 

The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has increased its open market sale (OMS) of some selected commodities by 2.5 times to stabilise the commodity market.

In reply to a question whether the government will move to revive public sugar mills to meet local demand, the commerce secretary said the country will continue to depend on imported sugar as government mills only produce around 65,000 tonnes against some 1.4 million annual demand.

About high rice price, the commerce ministry said the government has curtailed import duty on rice to only 25 percent and the price will come down when the imported rice will hit the market.

Bangladesh Competition Commission Chairman Md Mofizul Islam, Director General at Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection Bablu Kumar Saha, commerce ministry's additional secretary (export) Md Hafizur Rahman, additional secretary (IIT) AHM Safiquzzaman, TCB Chairman Brig Gen Md Ariful Hassan, member of Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission Abu Raihan Al-Beruni and representatives from trade bodies and large commodity companies were also present at the meeting.