The president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Sheikh Fazle Fahim, on Sunday said that the businesses and the government agreed that an engagement between the public and private sectors was a must to avert abnormal situation in the commodity market.
Following a roundtable meeting at the FBCCI office in the city he told the media that the meeting had agreed in principle on inventory management to assess the demand for and the production, import and prices of essentials so that the commodity market faced no abnormal situation in the future.
‘We have also decided that if there were any dishonest businesses operating in the commodity market, the respective trade association would identify and take action against them,’ the FBCCI president said.
The country’s apex trade body organised the event on the prevailing situation with regard to production, import, stock, value chain, pricing and annual demand for the essential commodities.
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi and food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder attended the programme.
National Board of Revenue chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that the board had started collecting information on the quantities of imported essential commodities, including onion, and where the commodities were sold.
‘From the government we have given a message to those businesses who import essential commodities that if any one tries to hoard and unreasonably increase prices they would be identified and punished,’ he said.
The NBR chairman requested the traders of essential commodities to do business ethically, saying that there was no supply shortage of daily essentials including onions in the market.
He assured that there would be no shortage of items like salt, edible oil, red lentil and sugar in the market in near future.
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi said that after the imported onions, coming by sea, would arrive in the country the item would be sold at the market at less than Tk 60 a kilogram as the import cost up to the port would be Tk 32 a kilogram.
He claimed that onions imported from Turkey and Egypt were selling for Tk 120 a kilogram and the local variety for Tk 140-160 in the market.
Food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder claimed that the prices of rice were stable although the prices went up by Tk 6-8 a kilogram in last 15 days.
He, however, said that the price of fine rice increased a little in the retail market as the food habit of Bangladeshi people had changed and now no one wanted to take coarse rice.
Bangladesh Competition Commission chairman Md Mofizur Rahman said that the commission was trying to collect information on recent price hikes of onion.
If any information is found against any traders manipulating the market the commission would take actions against them as per the law, he said.
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