Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) said the government, if found necessary, should consider allowing import of beef and chicken to control the price hike of these items.
“We’re concerned about the abrupt rise in broiler chicken prices in the last few days. If necessary, we’ll request the government to allow import of beef and chicken for two or three months,” FBCCI president Md. Jasim Uddin told a views-exchange meeting on Thursday.
“There will be no alternative to this to put a cushion for the people for the time being,” he added.
FBCCI chief informed that per kilogram beef price reached Tk 700 to Tk 800 in the local market whereas imported beef price is only Tk 500 in Dubai.
Similarly, broiler chicken price hit Tk 270 per kg, but its price will be much lower, if imported from Brazil, he observed.
Md. Jashim Uddin also urged the businessmen to shun profiteering mindset and the consumers to avoid stockpiling of food items targeting Ramadan.
However, there were no representatives from the country’s poultry sector which controlled the supply of broiler chicken in the market.
“This year, the government will strictly monitor the market and will cancel the bazaar committee as well as the trade licence of the respective shops, if evidence of charging higher prices is found in any market,” FBCCI president warned businessmen.
“We don’t want the licence of any business to be revoked during Ramadan or any of them is detained.”
“Businessmen will definitely make profit, but they should not make extra bucks cashing in on any volatile situation,” he said, reiterating that FBCCI won’t support any unscrupulous traders.
The country’s apex trade body leader advised businessmen to lodge complaints, if any, to the FBCCI so that it can take necessary steps to resolve the problem.
At the meeting, sugar traders complained of a supply crunch while the millers said there was enough stock of sugar in the market.
On the issue, the FBCCI president smelt a rat in retail sugar price as it was being traded at a much higher rate than the government fixed one.
The businessmen called for ensuring purchase invoice at mill and wholesale level to ensure price transparency.
Consumer rights campaigners observed that the government created a scope of cutting pockets of the consumers in the name of protecting local industries by imposing high duty and tariff on import of some commodities.
Market manipulation is only evident when a monopoly is created for some essential food items, which should be broken, they suggested.
Shop Owners’ Association leader Md Helal Uddin assured of strict market monitoring from the part of businessmen as well so that the commodity market remains stable during the holy month of Ramadan.