Bangladesh Competition Commission (BCC) filed cases against 44 companies including Unilever Bangladesh Limited and City Group and individuals on charges of manipulating the prices of essential commodities. They all deliberately increased the prices of their products, took control over the market and created an artificial crisis in order to make profit in large margin in dishonest and unethical way, an official of BCC told media.
The commission filed the case after an independent investigation to ensure a competitive market. Cases have been filed against the companies under Section 15 (b) of the Competition Commission Act, 2012. The commission has served notices on the companies and individual asking them to participate in phases in the hearing of the cases beginning from September 26. Action will be taken against them as per the law.
The prices of most of the essentials like rice, pulses, oil, sugar, flour, eggs, poultry, baby foods like powder milk and toiletries continued to keep soaring due to their excessive greed. Besides, the prices of toiletries like soap, detergent, toothpaste and other daily needs have also gone beyond the purchase capacity of common people.
There is no alternative but
to get tough on the identified
syndicates who are responsible for
creating artificial crisis
The organised unholy syndicate’s members of the companies and individuals, who are benefiting from the price hike, are tarnishing the image of the government. Section 15 states that no person shall, directly or indirectly, enter into any agreement or collusion -- in respect of production, supply, distribution, storage or acquisition of any goods or services -- which causes or is likely to cause an adverse effect on competition or creates monopoly or oligopoly in the market.
We highly appreciate the commission for getting tough on the greedy companies and individuals. Apart from the commission, ministries concerned and directorate of national consumers right protection will also have to get tough on the organised thugs and syndicate in order to break their chain at any cost.
There is no alternative but to get tough on the identified syndicates who are responsible for creating artificial crisis. Besides, authorities concerned must conduct mobile courts, monitor price lists and penalise those traders who are selling essential commodities at higher prices.
It is unfortunate that when poor and middle income groups are bearing the brunt of price hike alongside reeling under unprecedented economic crises, the greedy companies and individuals are shamelessly extracting public money. They should be put on trial immediately.