‘Country has adequate food stocks, price hike illogical’

Published : 25 Mar 2023 09:44 PM

Information and Broadcasting Minister and Awami League Joint General Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud on Saturday said there is no logical reason for increasing prices of food products in the country, even though there is sufficient stock of food products during Ramadan.

“Those who are increasing the prices despite having more than enough storage of goods in the country during Ramadan, are doing anti-people acts.” He said this while exchanging views with journalists at his official residence at Minto Road in the capital on Saturday (March 25) afternoon.

“It is sorrowful but true that some dishonest traders increase prices of goods for making excessive profits whenever Ramadan or any other festival or occasion appears,” he said.

Hasan said ahead of Ramadan, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took required measures to keep the supply of all products including the import-oriented and production-based ones sufficient.

As a result, the stock of food products is not only enough, rather it is more than enough, he said, adding that there is no logical reason behind price hike during Ramadan.

“It is mentioned in our food policy that if the country has a stock of 10 lakh tonnes of food grains, it is safe. But, at present the country has a stock of over 20 lakh tonnes of food grains -rice, wheat and consumer goods. The stocks of some products are more than the demand in Ramadan,” he said.

Even after that, some dishonest traders and hoarders are making evil efforts to increase the prices capitalizing on Ramadan, he mentioned.

Terming these acts as anti-people, he said the government has already taken measures against these acts and if required, provisions of punishment should be kept.

He said the Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection and different agencies have already become active to monitor the market.

Such monitoring will be carried out at upazila level soon, he said.

Though prices of products have increased in the wake of global context due to the war in Ukraine, Bangladesh never faced a crisis of products like the countries in Europe-America, he said.

He called upon the media to come forward to make reports against dishonest traders so that none can create a crisis and increase prices to make excessive profits.

Replying to questions from journalists about BNP’s announcement of different political programmes during Ramadan, Hasan Mahmud said, “BNP wants to destroy the sanctity of Ramadan by announcing movement in the holy month of fasting.”

“In the past, we never saw any announcement of movement in the holy month of Ramadan. Because, every party refrains from holding political programmes maintaining the sanctity of Ramadan,” he said.

The minister said the BNP doesn’t want people’s comfort even during Ramadan as the party is making evil efforts to create disorder in the country.