Friday, 1 July, 2022

Drive against soybean oil hoarding to continue

The government will continue conductive drives to prevent hoarding of bottled soybean oil to stabilise the supply of cooking oil. 

The Directorate of National Consumers Right Protection (DNCRP) under the Commerce Ministry conducted drives across the country on Sunday after a meeting with district and divisional officers.

DNCRP Director-General AHM Shafiquzzaman said the consumer rights department has directed all officers to continue the drives to detect and prevent hoarding of bottled soybean oil.

“We conducted drives in 64 districts simultaneously. The drives will continue at wholesale markets,” Shafiquzzaman, an additional secretary, told the Daily Sun.

The department will take action if the retailers sell previously purchased products at new prices after replacing the old price tags, according to the official.

The Commerce Ministry will hold a press briefing on the soybean oil supply situation this week.

Leaders of Bangladesh Wholesale Edible Oil Traders' Association (BWEOTA) said the market would become normal within this week.

“The price hiked during the weekend. Many merchants couldn’t release products due to the bank holidays. We hope the supply of bottled soybean oil will return to normalcy within this week,” BWEOTA President Haji Golam Mawla said.

There has been an acute scarcity of bottled soybean oil in the market in the last few days since a price hike of Tk 38 per litre last week.

Mill owners announced a hike of as much as 32 percent in cooking oil prices on Thursday, and soybean oil stayed out of the markets for the last two days after the price hike. The wholesale merchants claim that the shortage of bottled products has been created intentionally by a group of businesses to maximise profit.

Bottled soybean oil now costs Tk 198 a litre, up from Tk 160, in line with the prices set by the Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association after consultation with the government.