Mahfuja Mukul : The development of the country’s infrastructure sector is visible through the implementation of mega projects like Padma Bridge, Metrorail, Elevated Expressway. People are also enjoying its benefits. But the government was suffering from commodity price and economic crisis even before the election. Even if the government is formed again, the price of the commodity is suffering again. Prices of daily commodities including rice are increasing rapidly. What has kept the common people in extreme discomfort. The biggest challenge facing the new government now is to rein in commodity prices. Those concerned think so.
Economists say that the new government may have to face various challenges from the economic point of view. One of the biggest challenges will be controlling inflation. That is, reducing the price of the product. If inflation is not controlled, it will be a big problem in all areas.
They say that besides controlling inflation, the government should focus on protecting the stability of the macro economy. Steps should be taken to increase foreign exchange reserves. Therefore, effective steps should be taken to stop money laundering. Corruption must be stopped. At the same time, arrangements should be made to stabilize the currency exchange rate.
The ministers of the new government are also giving special importance to reducing the prices of daily necessities. For this reason, they are also giving a strong message against opportunistic businessmen, i.e. manipulation circles or syndicates. The government has also planned to cancel the license of any cycle, taking advantage of special circumstances, to increase the prices of daily necessities. At the same time, several steps have been taken to control the prices of products.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce has recommended to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to reduce the duty on import of edible oil, sugar and dates ahead of Ramadan. On Monday after a joint meeting of five ministries on commodity prices in the ministry, a letter was sent to NBR.
Along with this, a plan is being taken to supply enough dollars so that there is no hindrance in the import of food products. If there is a problem in obtaining dollars, arrangements will be made to import in other currencies. There are also plans to strengthen market monitoring so that consumers can buy products at reasonable prices.
Since the price of rice has increased at an abnormal rate after the new government started operations, the food ministry and the directorate are conducting operations. After the campaign, the price of rice has decreased slightly. However, the rate of increase is much less than the rate of decrease.
When asked about the challenges of the current government ahead, prominent economist Ahsan H. Mansoor said, “The challenges of the economy are ongoing.” Inflationary pressure, it is ongoing. If it is not reduced, it will be a big problem in all cases. If inflation is high, the exchange rate will fall. This is not what we want.’
Secondly, the supply of foreign currency should be increased. That is, how money laundering can be reduced should be seen. It is certainly not easy. It depends on a lot of things, including the management of the overall economy, our security system.
He said, ‘Why do people leave Bangladesh? If they leave the country, their money will leave the country. It is normal that money laundering will increase if corruption is high. We have to pay attention to these places.
Another economist Dr. Zayed Bakhat told, “The challenge is mainly the stability of the macro economy. Especially in our external economy sector which is the external sector, foreign exchange reserves, stabilization of currency exchange rates. On the other hand, keep inflation under control.
Apart from rice, prices of other essential commodities also increased after the new government took over. For this reason, the relevant ministries have started efforts to ensure that the prices of products do not rise again in the upcoming Ramadan. In the meantime, the ministers of the concerned ministries have also held an inter-ministerial meeting. In that meeting, it was decided that legal action will be taken against any businessman who tries to increase the price of daily necessities. If necessary, the license will be canceled and their business license will be suspended.
An official of the Ministry of Commerce said, “Now we are giving the most importance to keeping the prices of daily necessities under control. The utmost importance is being given to ensure that the prices of products do not rise again before fasting. A plan is being taken to reduce the duty on import-dependent food products, including edible oil, sugar, dates, which are used more during Ramadan. A letter has been sent to NBR in this regard.
He said that our state minister has already said that strict action will be taken if the syndicate tries to increase the price of any product. We are trying to identify who syndicates, who tries to take advantage. Strict action will be taken against anyone who takes advantage of the situation and causes suffering to common people.
An official of the Ministry of Finance said that various measures will be taken to reduce inflation. Our aim now is to ensure that the prices of daily necessities do not increase before fasting. Steps are being taken so that consumers can buy products at reasonable prices. Adequate supply of dollars has been asked for food imports. If dollars are not available, importation in alternative currencies is under consideration. But for now, there is no shortage of dollars in importing food products.
Meanwhile, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumdar, Agriculture Minister Abdus Shahid, Fisheries and Livestock Minister. Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmud Ali held an inter-ministerial meeting with Abdur Rahman and Commerce State Minister Ahsanul Islam Titu on Sunday evening.
After the meeting, the finance minister said that there is no reason to worry about the items needed during Ramadan. Some quarters are trying how to confuse the situation. Will try to take advantage of where the market economy is operating. The government is doing the work to maintain the price level. If necessary, we will resort to drastic measures. I won’t let anyone down.
Minister of Fisheries and Livestock. Abdur Rahman said, there is no shortage of daily necessities in the market. But there are middlemen, there are opportunists who manipulate. We sometimes run into such a danger because of an artificial crisis of that class. So, you can rest assured from today, the majors we will take hard will hopefully reach our goals soon.
Have you identified who is manipulating the market? When asked, Abdur Rahman said, I am definitely going out. Getting that whole thing out is time-consuming. Action will be taken against them when the identification can be ascertained.
When contacted, State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu told, “We have received information that there is no shortage or shortage of any of the products we need during Ramadan.” We have sufficient quantity of all kinds of products. Hence, we expect commodity prices to remain under control in the coming months. Strict action will be taken against anyone who takes advantage of the situation and tries to increase the prices unreasonably.
According to the data prepared by the government organization Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) on January 22, the price of medium quality rice has increased by 1.85 percent, palm oil price has increased by 1.96 percent, mung dal price has increased by 13.46 percent, domestic garlic price has increased in the space of one week. 12.50 percent increase, desi turmeric price increased 3.17 percent, cinnamon price increased 3 percent, clove price increased 1.05 percent, cardamom price increased 1.69 percent and bay leaf price increased 5.71 percent.
Special Correspondent: President of the Bangladesh Insurance Forum (BIF), BM Yusuf Ali, ha…