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  • Reasonable’ price set by govt is unrealistic: Shop Owners Association

Reasonable’ price set by govt is unrealistic: Shop Owners Association


  • Commodities
  • Staff Correspondent
  • Published: 19 Mar 2024, 01:03 AM

The trade association demanded the withdrawal of the price ceilings set on 29 agricultural products

The Bangladesh Shop Owners Association has demanded the withdrawal of the 'reasonable prices’ set for 29 agricultural products set by the Department of Agricultural Marketing four days ago.

Terming the new pricing system as 'unrealistic,' the trade organisation's leaders said that wholesale and retail prices have only increased due to the hike in production and import costs.

The remarks were made at a press conference held on Tuesday at the association’s office in Moghbazar.

Helal Uddin, the association's president,  "Fixing the price of products was a subversive decision on the part of the Agricultural Marketing Department. As a result of their decision, both the government and the businessmen will suffer. The pricing set by the TCB and Agricultural Marketing is not compatible as there may be a severe shortage of goods in the market."

On Mar 15, the Department of Agricultural Marketing fixed the price of 29 commodities, including beef, but the shop owners did not follow the new pricing guidelines.

Earlier, State Minister Ahsanul Islam Titu said the department will continue to fix the price of daily commodities and monitor the markets.

In response to his statement, Helal Uddin remarked that the association will make space for the government to take retail sales into its own hands if they want to.

He also complained of the way the prices were specified down to paisa.

"If someone buys 1 kg of brinjal from me, I have to give him 1 paisa. And if the 1 paisa is not returned, I will be sued. My total capital will be Tk 10,000 but the fine will be Tk 50,000," he added.

Remarking that there is nothing more shameful than having to trade with a coin that does not exist in Bangladesh, Helal claimed, "At the end of the day, the government fines the poor traders who live in slums. Nothing happens to the importers who have millions in their bank accounts."

The chief of the Shop Owners Association also said that the prices for these products were not discussed before the government fixed them.

"The Department of Agricultural Marketing can sell these products by themselves. Then there will be no need to fix the prices. They would know who is hiking the price in the market and who isn't. Instead of having a discussion with us first, they fixed the prices themselves and we are expected to follow it. It is very unrealistic," said Helal.

According to the association's president, garlic is being sold at Tk 150 even though the government has set the price at Tk 72.96.

"No one will be able to buy these goods with the price tags they have set. They should look into the whole matter before putting the small traders in trouble. We want monitoring in all cases."

/Mamun

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