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July 2024

PM issues strong directives to control prices of rice, other commodity

  • Mobile courts against rice hoarders from Tuesday
  • Rice price hike unusual in peak season

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has issued strong directives for immediate action to be taken against rice hoarders through mobile courts.

In a meeting with the Awami League top brass on Monday night, the prime minister, who is the Awami League President, said: “The hike in rice prices immediately after the election is an unusual thing. The individuals behind it should be identified, and action will be taken against them through mobile courts. They should be promptly sent to jail.”

Sheikh Hasina made these statements while delivering her opening remarks at the banquet hall of Ganabhaban during the Awami League Central Working Committee (ALCWC) meeting.

Regarding the inflation rate, the premier said: “We need to buy wheat, sugar, edible oil, and gas from outside because we do not have adequate quantities of these products compared to demand. Bangladesh is a country of 17 crore people. High prices of imported goods and increased transport costs are all reasons why inflation has increased.”

Sheikh Hasina said: “We have asked people to increase our production. This year, too, our harvest has been good, and rice production has increased. Still, all of a sudden, the rice price hike is an unusual situation during this peak season. It is necessary to find out who is behind it. Not only necessary, but immediate action should be taken against them; we will do this soon.”

Citizens should remain vigilant to ensure no one can manipulate food products through hoarding and black-market activities, urged the Premier.

“If you observe someone engaging in such activities, provide the information, and immediate action will be taken,” said Sheikh Hasina.

She also said: “There are some people in our country who dislike everything. They always desire an unusual government. However, no unusual government will ever come to Bangladesh.”

After the election, some vested quarters are trying to make the country unstable again, commented the Awami League President.

Meeting sources said that in the meeting, the Awami League chief instructed her party leaders to assist the local administrations in keeping commodity prices stable in the upcoming days, as maintaining commodity prices stability is one of the major goals of her government.

Sources said that from today, several mobile courts will start operations across the country to take action against the hoarders.

The prime minister also instructed ministries concerned and stakeholders to keep the commodity price stable just after forming the government following the 12th national parliament election, according to several sources.

Earlier on Sunday, five Ministers held a high-level meeting on the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and announced that the government has decided to launch an integrated market management and monitoring approach to check market manipulation and curb rising commodity prices ahead of the month of Ramadan.

Sources said that the government will take the initiative to identify the manipulators who are controlling the prices of rice, flour, oil, sugar, potatoes, onions, beef, eggs, and poultry products.

At the same time, it has been decided to establish a strict precedent for the legal system in some cases to control the prices of goods.

Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumdar, Agriculture Minister Abdus Shahid, Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdur Rahman, Commerce State Minister Ahsanul Islam Titu, Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rauf Talukdar, NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmantul Munim, and other high officials were present at the meeting.

During the discussion, the ministers said there was no shortage of commodities and no complications in the Letter of Credit (LC) settlement. Therefore, strict action will be taken for any manipulation.

The meeting was called to analyze demand along with production and the import situation of various products, identify the shortage, and ease the procedure for the import of goods to meet the shortage before Ramadan.

At the end of the meeting, the finance minister said integrated market management will be launched soon. Strict monitoring will continue alongside this, he added.

All relevant agencies of the country will work to prevent any chaos in the market, he said, adding that there is no shortage of any kind of product in the country.

State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu said, “We have the finance, agriculture, fisheries, industries, and home ministries with us. Besides, there is Bangladesh Bank and NBR as well. We will coordinate with all of them in the future.” QR Code

Published Date: January 22, 2024

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