31 August 2022
The government of the country announced on Tuesday the decision to fix the prices of some of the daily necessities of Bangladesh. On Wednesday, the Tariff Commission said, they are sending letters to associations and big companies to determine the prices of these products.
After a meeting to review the price, supply and market situation of essential commodities, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Tuesday, “The Tariff Commission has been given the responsibility to rationalize the prices of all (commodities), not just oil, to figure out what the appropriate price should be. Along with those who are related to it. Direct legal action against those who do not accept it. ”
Among the commodities that have been notified of price fixing are rice, wheat (flour and flour), edible oil (soybean and palm), onion, sugar, lentils, MS rod and cement.
how The government will determine the market price
Although the prices of several essential commodities are announced, the prices of sugar and soybean oil are already fixed by the government.
Chairman of Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission Mahfuza Akhtar tells BBC Bangla, “We have started working for this from today. Earlier we used to fix the price of oil and sugar regularly. Starting from import LC opening, settlement, inbond, outbond, what will be the price at millgate, how much money will be sold in marketing, all the parts are shared.”
“Now we have to figure out the other products. We are working on what else to ask the association, including the cost sheet. We will verify it after receiving the account from them. Then again I will sit with them, all the concerned parties. A fair price will be determined on the basis of negotiations.”
As a rule, a cost sheet or cost sheet is submitted to the government usually from the sector-based traders’ association. The government determines the market price by verifying it.
Generally, the prices are fixed by the producers or distributors of various daily necessities. But if that is not justified, the government has scope to intervene.
The prices of edible oil and sugar in Bangladesh are determined based on the calculations given by the importer-distributors association of these products. The Tariff Commission basically checks whether there is any loophole as such.
Why is it worth it? tied up The government has decided to give?
According to a report of Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission, the price of wheat in the international market has increased by eight percent in a year, but the price of open flour and flour in the domestic market has increased by 67 percent.
Although the price of lentils has decreased in the international market, it has increased by 29 to 39 percent in the domestic market. The price of steel scrap in the global market has also increased the price of rods in the domestic market. Taking these issues into consideration, the government has decided to fix the prices of these products.
Swati Chowdhury, a resident of Alipur in Faridpur, says, “I can’t settle anything when I go to the market. One price today, another price tomorrow. In the last one month, many things have gone beyond my budget.”
As Tarabanu, a resident of Dhaka’s Karail slum, said, the way the prices of goods have increased in the market has made it difficult to run a household.
He says, “Earlier, if I spent 100 taka a day, I could eat, now it is not even 200 taka. The prices of fish, meat, eggs and vegetables have gone up. I have been eating and drinking for one and a half months on eggs and vegetables.”
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, “We have noticed that the prices of various products have increased, which is not acceptable. Taking advantage of the global instability and appreciation of the dollar in the domestic market, the prices of these commodities have been inflated, which should not have happened.”
However, the Trade and Tariff Commission has never fixed the market price of products like rods or cement before. It fluctuates based on market demand and supply.
Chairman of the commission Mahfuza Akhtar says, “Not all products fall under the Tariff Commission order. But now that the government wants, how to do that, we are looking for the way. Like rod cement we never did, rice did not come under our purview. Now what can be done, we are studying that.
When will the new market price take effect?
Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that the prices of these products have been decided within the next 15 days. After that every month the tariff commission will announce the prices of these products.
However, officials of the Tariff Commission said that they have just started working. They declined to give a time frame as they have to gather detailed information on several other products. However, they expressed hope that they will finish this work very soon.
But there is a question, even if the price is set in the market, how much can the government force it effectively?
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, “Anyone who sells products beyond the price set by the government will not only be fined, but will also be prosecuted from now on.” Fines have been imposed during the operation so far. I said, minus the fine, file a case. I will send those who do injustice to the court.
The consumer rights protection department also monitors the local administration to see if the prescribed products are being overcharged in the market.
Tariff Commission officials, however, admit that it is often difficult to detect if an unscrupulous trader is overcharging even after fixing the price.
Before this, the LPG gas price of Bangladesh cylinders has been fixed by the government, but there have been complaints of charging excessive prices in many places.
Chairman of Tariff Commission Mahfuza Akhtar hopes that if the price of any product is fixed in the market, the buyers will be aware, they will know their price. Then they can protest or complain to the government office, thereby stopping the trend.