Initiative taken to monitor prices of goods from import and production level to retail market in an effort to protect consumers' rights
The government on Saturday decided to hold a meeting every Sunday to monitor prices of goods from the import and production level to the retail market, in an effort to protect consumers' rights and keep prices reasonable.
Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin came up with the announcement at a press conference on the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day to be observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe on Sunday.
Bablu Kumar Saha, director general of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP), was present at the program.
The DNCRP has chalked out elaborate programs to mark the day, but has also cancelled a procession over the coronavirus issue.
“From now on, we will sit every Sunday to monitor the price gap of commodities at wholesale and retail markets. In the meeting, we will review the prices of goods at import and production levels as well as retail markets,” Jafar Uddin said in response to a question.
On the committee, there will be seven to eight members, who will work under the commerce secretary.
“This is only for keeping people well during Ramadan by keeping the prices within their reach,” he added.
As part of the monitoring, prices at wholesale markets such as Khatunganj and Karwanbazar will be taken into consideration, after which the information will be sent to the monitoring team through an app to be launched soon, said Jafar.
The field-level monitoring teams of DNCRP and the Ministry of Commerce will use the data and take actions if there is any unusual difference or irregularities, the secretary also warned.
"Since we did not get the expected result from the traditional monitoring system, we decided to go for a new and digitized one," he added.
"We will not fix prices of goods at the retail market but will consider how to keep it reasonable, as the government also has to think about the business people's rights," said Jafar.
Speaking of the stock of essential goods during Ramadan, the secretary assured that there would not be shortage of supply as the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) had over 10% more stock compared to the previous year.
According to DNCRP statistics, 26,394 markets were raided from March 8, 2009, until 2020 in the light of Section 17 of the Consumer Rights Protection Act - 2009, where Tk55.60 crore was realized in fines from 74,210 establishments.
During this period, the DNCRP received 30,295 complaints, out of which 28,589 complaints were settled.