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Sugar price should be below Tk 60 per kg, insists Tofail
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said the sugar price should not exceed Tk 57-58 per kilogram and warned of tougher action against those who will try to create artificial crisis of it in the market.
“Sugar price was supposed to remain below Tk 60,” the commerce minister said mentioning that the price should not exceed Tk 57-58 after making profit at wholesale and retail levels as refiners sell sugar at Tk 48 per kg.
He made the remarks while exchanging views with sugar importers and retailers at his Secretariat office on Thursday.
The commerce minister, however, said the government would not fix sugar price saying it cannot be done in the open market economy, and even such measure does not work.
He urged the director general of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) to strengthen market monitoring to keep the sugar price stable.
Tofail said the prices of other essentials remain stable as there is steady supply. “At present, the stock of essentials is much higher than the demand. There’s no problem in supply chain.”
Warming stern measures against those who will try to make excessive profit, he reminded the businessmen of Wednesday’s punitive measures.
A mobile court in Chittagong on Wednesday sealed a trading firm after detaining two persons and fining them Tk 20 lakh for charging excessive wholesale price of sugar through manipulating the market.
“If anybody wants to raise price artificially or try to create problem in the supply chain, he will face the similar consequences,” Tofail said.
During the drive, the mobile court found that ‘Mir Ahmed Sawdagor Traders’ of Khatunganj bought all the sugar of S Alam Group.
The commerce minister said the businesspeople will have to play a responsible role so that consumers can buy essentials at fair prices during the holy month of Ramadan.
Tofail said the prices of few products are high compared to the last year due to hike on the international market.
City Group Chairman Fazlur Rahman, on behalf of businesses, said there is enough stock of sugars, and it is being sold at Tk 48 per kg at mill gate.
Senior commerce secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, Bangladesh Tariff Commission Chairman Mushfeka Ikfat, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh Chairman Brig Gen Abu Saleh Md Golam Ambia and representatives from various government and trade bodies were present.