Thursday, May 30, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Online app to remove middlemen from commodity market

  • The app will reveal how many products a participating wholesaler stocks or markets
  • Users can easily know how much an importer has imported
Update : 23 Mar 2024, 11:03 AM

The government has decided to eliminate the anarchy of the middlemen in the commodity market and control abnormal price hikes by developing an app that will have a list of producers, importers, and wholesale traders of daily necessities.

Through the app, a user can easily know how much an importer has imported, how much he has marketed, and how much he has in stock.

In a similar vein, the app will reveal how many products a participating wholesaler stocks or markets. The government feels that through this, the supply situation of all types of daily commodities can be ensured in the market, no one can hoard in the hope of more profit, and there will be no middlemen in this system.

Sources in the Ministry of Commerce said that the government is working to develop smart market management. At the same time, it has also taken initiatives to eliminate the existence of middlemen in the market of daily commodities, as they play a major role in destabilizing the market by manipulating the prices. They create a shortage of products by obstructing the supply in the hope of unethical profit. This increases the suffering of consumers and embarrasses the government.

To get rid of such a situation, the government is thinking of introducing an online system for the market management of daily commodities. The Commerce Ministry has decided to launch the new app for this purpose. As part of the process, emphasis is being placed on the collection of vouchers for the purchase of goods by retailers.

A licence must be obtained from the district administration to operate business through the app. The licence will specify the wholesalers, retailers, and importers. The government will ensure their identity. The district commissioner will keep track of products arriving on the market and sales records.

Sources also said that the main objective of the government's campaign to control the prices of daily commodities through mobile courts is to keep the market stable, not to scare anyone.

The government claims that the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Food, Ministry of Home Affairs, Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP), Safe Food Authority, Dhaka North City Corporation, and Dhaka South City Corporation are conducting regular raids in the market. In these campaigns, retailers are mainly blamed for various errors, including overpricing and supply errors. As a result, the retailers face jail and fines.

The government feels that it is not possible to stabilize the market by raiding the retail market and imposing jail terms and fines. There is no substitute for smart market management to stabilize the market because, during the raids, a retailer survives if s/he can show the vouchers and price list.

State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu said that after inspecting the markets, it was found that, in many cases, products are being sold below the government-fixed price.

“Soybean oil and sugar are sold below government-set prices. There is a sufficient supply of goods on the market during Ramadan. It contains pulses, oil, and onions. There are no obstacles anywhere. We are very satisfied with this.”

Titu also said that the price of the products fixed by the Department of Agriculture Marketing is not the fixed price but the rational price of a product after including production and transportation costs.

The advantage of fixing this price is that it will help agricultural produce sellers get benchmark pricing. “We have just started it. Gradually, those who are producers and wholesalers of these products will come under the full supply chain, and then the prices will gradually come down. We are not forcing anyone.”

Stating that the district officials have been instructed about their roles, the state minister said: “We are monitoring all places. If someone makes an unreasonable profit and stores anything, and if they increase the price unreasonably, I have said that action will be taken against them. We are trying to keep the prices of all the daily products normal. But there are some people who will try to take advantage of the opportunity.”

He advised the conscious citizens of society, including journalists, to monitor the market situation. At the same time, he asked people to complain to the government's hotline number, 16121, and file a complaint with the DNCRP.

Shafiqul Islam Lal Mia, the owner of Sukkur Traders—a wholesaler in Karawan Bazar kitchen market, said they too want discipline in business. “If the government can bring order to market management in any way, we will welcome it and cooperate in this work. We want stability to return to the market.”

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