Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said the people in Bangladesh can buy commodities at higher price as their purchasing capacity is not weak now.
The minister came up with the comment at a press conference at his office when reporters asked him whether the government failed to control the increase of prices of many commodities.
‘I want to tell you something. Is buying capacity of people in Bangladesh weak? Is anyone in poverty? Is anyone dying of starvation? Is there any sign of famine due to deficiency in the market,’ he asked.
When reporters asked why the prices of onion shoot up tp Tk 250 a kg, Obaidul said, ‘You have the capacity to buy it.’
Some reporters present there told him that they did not have that capacity. Obaidul agreed with a reporter that the situation was abnormal the price of onion cannot rise to Tk 250 from Tk 25.
Obaidul said this situation would become normal as the government was trying with all its power to control it.
Some dishonest traders are still in the market and the government is strict to control them, he said.
Obaidul said the price issues of rice and salt had already overcome.
He also emphasised on discussion in dealing with such issues. ’But we have to be strict against any attempts of creating any crisis,’ he said.
About high prices of 18 products mentioned in a Trading Corporation of Bangladesh report, he said sometimes situation become like this centring rumours and transport strikes.
‘As winter sets in, I think, the prices of vegetables would become normal within few days,’ he said.
About commerce minister Tipu Munshi’s claim that he would not wait for a second to resign if his resignation lowers the prices of onion, Obaidul said it was not a serious remark from the minister.
About news on removal of the ministers for commerce, railways and foreign affairs as they could not discharge their duties properly or failed in some cases, Obaidul said the prime minister has the jurisdiction to evaluate performances of the ministers, keep or remove any of them.
Obaidul, also general secretary of the ruling Awami League, said elections to two city corporations in Dhaka would be held whenever the Election Commission would ask for it.
He said Awami League wants elections to the Dhaka city corporations and hopes to win them.
Obaidul said change in his position in Awami League was the jurisdiction of the party president and he would welcome any decision.
About anti-corruption drive, he said the drive did not slow down as drives are on against different people.
Earlier on the day, Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das called on him at his office.
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