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13 govt orgs to monitor market during Ramadan

Published : 19 Mar 2023 10:51 PM | Updated : 20 Mar 2023 06:33 PM

More than a dozen government organisations, including different ministry department, law-enforcement and intelligence agencies, are strictly monitoring markets selling daily essential commodities.

Such initiative have been taken to keep the prices of essentials stable ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already instructed the concerned ministries and agencies to keep strict vigil on the markets so that no one could hoard commodities in an attempt to create artificial crisis.

While addressing a function marking the 19th founding anniversary of RAB at its headquarters in the city's Kurmitola, the Prime Minister asked the law enforcement agencies particularly the RAB to remain vigilant to prevent stockpiling of food and adulteration during the Ramadan.

Earlier on March 16, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had warned dishonest businessmen and traders against their attempt in creating artificial crisis of essential commodities.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister at the meeting of the Taskforce on Commodity Price Control held on Sunday assured of not increasing commodity prices during the Ramadan.

The meeting of the taskforce held at the Ministry of Commerce was attended by the representatives Chaired by Commerce Minister Tipu Munsi.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of  Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Home, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Agriculturem Ministry of Food, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Public Administrations, the Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue, Authority of Safety Food, Directorate National Consumers Right Protection, Bangladesh Police, Rapid Action Battalion, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Ansar and four other intelligence agencies.

Sources said that the meeting decided to take proper measures to ensure supply of adequate food and other commodities and, in this regard, authorities concerned have been asked to remain vigilant on the field and continue monitoring the markets.

The meeting also decided to strengthen the market monitoring process through vigilance by the intelligence and conducting continuous operations by the mobile courts.

The magistrates and other officials have been asked to ensure punishment to those who would be found to be involved in the illegal storing of food and other commodities and increasing prices by creating artificial crisis.

Apart from Police and RAB, personnel from the BGB will also remain active on the field to assist the mobile courts engaged in the process of keeping the market prices under control. 

The meeting sources also said that decision taken at the meeting of the taskforce will be forwarded to the grassroot level including divisions, districts and upazilas through the divisional commissioners, deputy commissioner, TNO and upazila chairmen.

Besides, the government have also decided to supply foods and various other commodities to over a crore people during the Ramadan through Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB). Open Market Sale (OMS) system will also remain active.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday said that top business leaders have assured that the prices of daily commodities would not increase in the upcoming month of Ramadan.

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and several business leaders reiterated this, said the minister while speaking at a meeting at the Ministry of Commerce on Sunday.

"Government is doing its best to keep the prices of goods available and affordable during Ramadan. There is no reason to fear about price hike. It is unlikely that the government will increase prices because there is enough stock of food at present,” he said.

However, he added that the government will take action against anyone who would take advantage of the situation, and increases the price of daily essentials.

"Essentials, such as oil, sugar, and lentils are available at triple the amount needed during Ramadan. As sugar prices increased, the VAT has been reduced. The 5% tariff cut on sugar prices will be effective in the market from the beginning of Ramadan,” the minister added.

Referring to the increased price of chicken, the minister said: "Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has been requested to make the prices reasonable during Ramadan.”

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