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Tax the super profiteers more

Tax the super profiteers more
Tax the super profiteers more

Government often works well, but very late. As a result, the market does not go into turmoil, the market heats up. Ordinary people suffer. The latest example is the rice market. Suddenly the rice market started to rise. There is no message, the price of rice is increasing every day.

Media started reporting about it daily. Why the market price is increasing, due to whom it is increasing – could not be understood. Shopkeepers lack of speech. 8-10 days ago I go to buy rice. I asked the shopkeeper seeing the excessive price, what is the reason for the sudden price increase? His answer is alarming. He said, Sir, take more rice. I usually buy 25 kg bags, which last a long time. The shopkeeper said to take two sacks.

Because the price will increase. He said definitely. The reason is drought. ‘Don’t you see that the soil is bursting in North Bengal due to lack of water.’ Harvest ahead. It rises in the month of Agrahayana/Poush. An important crop for us. Of course Boro is now our number one paddy crop, Aush and Aman besides Boro. Now is Bhadra month. Ashwin-Karthik-Agrahayan was already the month of ‘Ha-Bhat’ in the previous days. Now it is no more.

These days were very difficult in the past. Until Aman rose, there was no shortage of rice. This time was a very bad time for Bengalis. However, Boro was not so popular then. What happened now that the government has so much food, but the price of rice is increasing in Bhadra month? The shopkeepers are saying drought as the reason. No rain water. The water level has dropped below the ground. There is a shortage of diesel, a shortage of fertilizers. Testimony of Jamalpur.

Fertilizer dealer says, fertilizer is less than required. The number of farmers is high. So he is not opening the shop. In this fear after the trouble. Meanwhile, farmers are blocking roads for fertiliser. The soil is dry in drought. Lack of irrigation, not enough rainfall. Lack of fertilizer apparently. These are eye-opening events. Businessmen know it well. Miller, the owners of Chatal know that. He knows that the opportunity is not missed! Aman caught fire in the market by assuming that the yield of paddy will be low. Day by day the price of rice increases by 2-4-6-8-10 taka per kg. Darkness in people’s eyes.

Rice – it is not vegetables, not fish-meat-milk that will reduce the amount of these foods. You will need rice. Already the price of everything is sky high. I will talk about flour, eggs, vegetables, milk, fish and meat. First, the market was on fire due to the attack of Corona epidemic. Now Russia-Ukraine war is added to it.

In this war, the price of oil and gas has increased in the world. There is a shortage of supplies. Ukraine-Russia wheat exports collapse. Its impact on the domestic market is huge. The normal price inflation of the world market is added to the profiteering of our ‘patriotic’ businessmen and shopkeepers. Govt increases oil-diesel-octane prices. Elsewhere, the price of everything went up from 50 percent to 70 percent overnight. Added to this is the price of rice.

We don’t have that kind of shortage of rice. in wheat But in reality there is a problem as to whether rice is deficient or not. It is often debated. As a result, the market is hazy. At this opportunity traders complained of shortages. As now taken up. Of course, the price of rice is related to the price of wheat.

When the price of wheat/flour is high, people turn to rice. This affects the rice market. Due to these reasons, an upward trend was observed in the rice market. There are more reasons. This increase in prices would not have happened if the government had fulfilled its duty at the right time. The government is aware of the scarcity/deficiency of rice, the shortage of food grains. It was understood by looking at the import news. In the latest news, the government will import 7-8 lakh tons of wheat and rice from Vietnam, Russia, India etc. Why import?

Since there is a deficit, it is imports, isn’t it? If so, what would be wrong with the news of the import earlier? The market would not have been so hot if given earlier. Businessmen could not take chances. Understandably, when the news of imports came, there was some relief in the rice market. However, not only the import news, the government has started selling rice in the open market. Around 80 lakh poor families have started selling rice at low prices.

It will last for two to three months. The government sells rice at a low price during five months of the year. As a result of other ‘marketing activities’, the rice market has gone down a bit. Here’s the thing. If these steps had been taken earlier, the hawkers, chatal owners, mill owners and shopkeepers would not have been able to loot crores of rupees from the market on the pretext of shortage.

We know very well that our ‘patriotic’ businessmen do not understand the happiness and sorrows of common people. They understand profit and loss. They don’t listen to the government. They sit with the government, have tea and breakfast. It does what needs to be done immediately. No administrative action by the government is helpful. Threats do not work. This has been proven time and time again. Therefore, the only hope is ‘open market operation’.

The government has about 20 lakh tonnes of rice/food grains. Why delay the introduction of open market policy to have so much grain in the warehouse? Lately, the lives of ordinary people are mundane. And the profits of dishonest businessmen, who create crises for no reason and steal billions of rupees from the market of various products every year. Who is responsible for this? Who is responsible for the suffering of the people?

There are other cases of looting of profit money from the market, not just rice. Recently we have seen the onion incident, we are seeing the soybean oil incident. Last time I saw the egg market. On the pretext of increasing the price of diesel, the price of eggs suddenly increased to 60 rupees. what’s the matter We have no shortage of eggs. The government is constantly saying that we are self-sufficient in eggs. Four crore eggs are produced in the country every day.

It is said that it is necessary. So the traders, farmers suddenly increased the price why? Due to increase in diesel prices, transportation costs have increased slightly. So the price of eggs will increase by 50 percent? Funnily enough, the rate at which the price of eggs has gone up, has gone down again. Now recently the price of eggs is 40-45 rupees. What is the reason for the sudden drop in the price of eggs? Will import, in this news? If imported, production and supply of domestically produced eggs will be disrupted, as eggs are perishable products.

It was not clear whether the prices began to fall on news of imports, or as a result of monitoring by consumer rights authorities. However, it was understood that the traders and farmers took out about 500 crore rupees from the market in this gap. This is the egg case. This happens two days in a row with onion too. Onion comes from India. Our market is related to the market there. Saying this, the onion market was set on fire two days in a row.

The less said about the soybean oil business, the better. This oil has made some businessmen the owners of billions, thousands of crores of rupees. Its market is in the hands of a few traders. They cause ups and downs in the market. They do what is necessary. In this way thousands of crores of rupees are withdrawn from the market every year.

What is the reason that traders are withdrawing thousands of rupees every year from each product market? It used to happen in the previous days as well. The price of each product fluctuated. But it was at a tolerable level. Market news was limited then. Demand was limited, supply was limited. Village traders, moneylenders used to make profit based on supply and demand. The profit level was low.

Now the situation is just opposite. Now demand has increased, supply has increased, imports have increased. People have money. Earlier some people used to open loans together. Because could not afford to open large amount of ‘LC’. Not now. Now only big traders bring goods by filling ships. There is own financing, along with bank loans. The import power of today’s traders is very high. And each ‘group’ is created for each product. Product based ‘Syndicate’.

They control the market of these products. They are very influential businessmen. Many times it is seen that the government is captive in their hands. Why do you say prisoners, the government is now in their hands. Most of the members of the present parliament are businessmen and industrialists. They control the market, supply, production and import. Through these, they are looting thousands of crores of rupees from the market every year. The medium is very profitable! Now talking about – what is excessive profit? Is there any definition? How much profit will it be super profit?

These are unknown to us. Apparently we are victims of over-profits. Profit hunters are destroying socio-political life. Do they pay regular taxes to the government? How much does it give? Do they pay taxes, or take benefits from the government? Apparently they are reluctant to pay taxes. He is busy taking various benefits from the government. But if they had paid taxes regularly, there would have been no dearth of government revenue.

But it doesn’t. As a result, ordinary taxpayers suffer. The burden of taxes is on their shoulders. People suffer from the pain of both income tax and consumption tax (VAT). But if the big traders had borne some of the revenue burden, the revenue situation would not have been so critical. Two incidents can be recalled in this context. A case of newly sworn-in British Prime Minister Liz Truss. Another two-three years ago. That is the event of the ‘World Economic Forum’.

The British Prime Minister in his election manifesto talked about ‘Windfall Gains Tax’. That is, he will raise the revenue by taxing those who are getting rich from ‘Fukuta’ gains/profits. Meanwhile, the ‘World Economic Forum’ has said to tax the rich. Both suggestions should apply to us. Experience shows that we cannot stop the trend of excessive profits.

Businessmen are not listening. Many are breaking the law and doing unethical business and making extra profit. No administrative/financial mechanism works against them. One thing can be done in this situation. A ‘tax’ can be levied on the profits of those who are making such ‘fukute’ profits. Those who are gaining profit through talent, labor, competition and skill, have a different story.

I am talking about the recent profit in egg sales, profit in soybean business. Let the revenue department impose tax on such unethical business profits, do it strictly. When excess profits cannot be written off, can’t at least a portion of those profits be taxed?

Dr. RM Debnath : Economic Analyst; Former teacher, University of Dhaka

The article is in Bengali

Tags: Tax super profiteers

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