Stop outrageous prices

Published : 18 May 2024 08:23 PM

The common people are facing serious difficulties due to the sudden and outrageous prices of essential commodities. Prices of essentials have skyrocketed and we are very concerned and worried about it. The question crops up if there is no manipulation here, how can the price increase like this?

There might be a “manipulation” working behind the excessive rise in essentials’ prices. Of late everything has gone out of common people’s purchasing capacity. The lower, lower middle, middle and fixed-income groups especially day labourers, rickshaw-pullers and drivers are the worst sufferers from the price hike of essentials.

They are facing serious financial hardship as running families has now become too difficult for them. No one understands their agonies, common people allege every day. Prices are spiralling although their wages, salaries or income do not increase every year. Bangladesh Post on Saturday ran a story headlined ‘Price hike hits people hard’ detailing the sudden price-hike of essential commodities and people’s suffering. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s repeated requests to the businessmen to do business thinking about the country and its people are not working to this end.

Though she (Sheikh Hasina) issued a note of caution against the hoarders and market manipulators of essential commodities, prices of essentials keep soaring with no end in sight. An organised cartel comprising traders and wholesalers is still hiking the prices of everything. 

The government must provide essentials at an affordable price as the people of the country do not want to see any instability in market. There are some people to spread propaganda and it is done in an organised way.

Of late everything has 

gone out of common

people’s purchasing capacity

The traders and wholesalers have the readymade excuse of a price hike in the international market caused by what they say ‘the Russia-Ukraine war, the Palestine-Israel conflict and the ongoing crisis in the Middle East’. Making the global crisis as an issue, the unholy syndicate, some corporate houses, millers, wholesalers and retailers are now involved in hoarding rice, other food grains and essential commodities.  

However, a recent study by an intelligence agency found their justification to be unsubstantiated. They (businessmen) have also been warned to get prepared to face music unless they correct themselves. But the fact remains that they are doing everything to hike the prices of daily essentials. Though an intelligence agency earlier identifying the members of this unholy nexus submitted a list to authorities concerned, they remain still untouched.

No legal action has yet been taken against the identified crooked traders, wholesalers and millers. As a result, they have become desperate to make profit in large margin in dishonest and unethical way. 

The prices of essential commodities are going up due to the excessive greed of traders. It is not possible to arrest the prices of daily essentials only by making statements or warning issues instead of getting tough on the greedy traders with immediate effect. If the government does not get tough on the organised thugs and the syndicate is not broken, the prices of daily essentials will not come down.

We have noticed when the people are passing through hard days, BNP, anti-liberation forces and some elements have extended all-out support to different organised syndicates, instigating them to deepen the crisis further. Various apprehensions are coming to light and hatching conspiracy starts in this regard recently. Sheikh Hasina realised the mounting sufferings of people due to fresh surge in prices of essentials. 

Authorities concerned must conduct mobile courts, monitor price lists and penalise those traders for selling essential commodities at higher prices than mentioned in price lists right now. We hope that our businessmen, traders and retailers will pay heed to the prime minister’s call.