Home Commodities Govt will take action against hoarders: state minister

Govt will take action against hoarders: state minister

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People stand in long queues to buy essential commodities at subsidised prices from an open market sales truck run by the government at Lalbagh in the capital Dhaka recently. — Focusbangla photo

State minister for commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu on Thursday warned that the government would take stern action against people who would try to create instability in the country by hoarding essential commodities ahead of Ramadan as keeping prices of essentials stable was the election pledge of the Awami League.

The state minister at a meeting with the importers of essential commodities held at the commerce ministry conference room said that, firstly, the government would ensure availability of essentials and secondly, logical prices of the goods. 

Titu urged businesses to maintain uninterrupted supply of the essential commodities during Ramadan, the fasting month of the Muslims, which is expected to start in the second week of March.

‘We do not want to dictate the prices of commodities, rather we will ensure transparency and accountability in the supply chain and the price discovery would take place automatically,’ the state minister said.

Titu also urged the businesses to open fair price shops in the Dhaka city and its adjacent areas, like Savar, Narayanganj and Gazipur, to support lower-income people during the month of Ramadan.

In the meeting, businesses assured the state minister that they would ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities, including edible oil and sugar, during Ramadan.

Replying to a question, the junior minister said that the government would introduce a smart market system to ensure transparency in all stage of supply chain and hopefully the word ‘syndicate’ would disappear from the commodity market after July 1.  

Commerce ministry senior secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Meghna Group of Industries chairman Mostafa Kamal, Deshbondhu Group chairman Golam Mostafa and City Group director Md Hasan, among others, spoke at the meeting.

In a separate meeting with the members of Economic Reporters’ Forum, the  state minister said that the government was planning to introduce a cell for consumers through helpline number 333 from July 1 so that people could exchange information regarding commodity prices over the helpline.

Titu also said that there was no shortage of essential commodities and it was expected that the businessmen would not increase prices during Ramadan.

ERF president Mohammad Refayet Ullah Mirdha and general secretary Abul Kashem also spoke in the meeting.

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