Commerce minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday urged the country’s businesses to support the government in checking any abnormal rise in prices of commodities during Ramadan, the month of fasting for the Muslims.
He made the call while attending an evaluation meeting on the stock of goods and commodities ahead of Ramadan at the secretariat in Dhaka.
This year Ramadan will begin early May.
Tipu also urged the businesses to remain alert about the prices of commodities so that the prices did not become an embarrassment to him.
‘It would be a matter of disgrace for the businesspeople if I fail to perform well… as I was chosen from the businesses,’ Tipu said.
Even though he was chosen as minister from the businesspeople, Tipu said, adding, ‘I still feel that I am on the businesses’ side.’
‘You also should feel that same and keep in mind that you would not return me empty-handed,’ he said.
Promising to provide every logical support for the businesses, the businessman-turned-commerce minister said that the businesses should understand the sufferings of people.
Tipu said that the businesses assured him that the status of production, stock and import of goods of the daily essential commodities suggested that there was no reason for hike in prices of those commodities during the month of Ramadan.
The businesses should maintain the prices voluntarily while the government will also keep track of the situation, the commerce minister said.
He said that none should take scope for making additional profits during the holy month of Ramadan.
Mentioning extortion during the transportation of goods and commodities as reason for the hike in commodity prices, the commerce minister said that such activities would be controlled with an iron hand.
‘We will not tolerate extortion as the prime minister has instructed us to contain such activities with an iron hand,’ he said.
‘The vegetables which usually sell at Tk 10-12 a kilogram in Rangpur retail at Tk 40 a kg in Dhaka due mainly to extortion during the transportation of the goods,’ he said.
A special cell would be formed in each thana across the country to tackle the extortion, the minister said.
Commerce secretary Md Mofizul Islam, Bangladesh Tariff Commission chairman Jyotirmay Dutta, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Md Shafiul Islam Mahiuddin, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh chairman Brig Gen Jahangir, Directorate of National Consumers’ Right Protection director general Md Shafikul Islam Laskar, City Group chairman Fazlur Rahman, Meghna Group chairman Mustafa Kamal and representatives of NBR, agriculture ministry, industries ministry, national intelligence agency and police, and leaders of bazaar committees were present.
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