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Thursday, 18 April, 2024

Bangladesh makes display of rice price, variety mandatory on sacks to stop gouging

Millers will be jailed and fined if they do not follow the order
Express Report
  22 Feb 2024, 02:53

In the wake of an abnormal hike in prices, the government has ordered the rice mills to prominently display their name, location, production date, price, and variety on all rice sacks prior to distribution.

This information must be printed and not handwritten, according to a directive issued by the food ministry on Wednesday,

Corporate firms supplying rice can also put a maximum retail price or MRP on the sacks weighing 50 kg, 25 kg, 10 kg, 5 kg, 2 kg and 1 kg.

The regulation is set to take effect on Apr 14.

If the millers do not follow this order, they will face up to 5 years in jail or Tk 1.5 million fines or both under the Production, Storage, Transfer, Transport, Supply, Distribution and Marketing of Foodstuffs (Prevention of Harmful Activities) Act 2023.

After the decision was finalised in a meeting on Feb 6, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said it would allow the customers to know the rates offered at mill gates.

The notice said inspections confirmed traders were selling the same variety of rice with different names at different rates.

The millers, wholesalers and retailers are blaming each other whenever prices rise abnormally.

These irregularities deprive the customers of their right to fair price and to buying the variety of their choice.

In some cases, they face financial losses.

“The decisions were taken to overcome this situation by ensuring tolerable and reasonable prices, marketing of rice in its original variety, and facilitating monitoring,” the notice said.

In a sweeping crackdown on price gouging, millions of takas in fines imposed during thousands of enforcement actions over a 20-day span starting Jan 21, but these efforts to stabilise rice prices in Bangladesh after an unusual surge have fallen short.

After experiencing an abnormal price increase of up to Tk 6 per kilogram—even during the harvest season, when prices typically fall—the maximum reduction achieved was merely Tk 3 per kilogram.

The spike in prices coincided with the general elections, prompting the newly re-elected Awami League government to take immediate action.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself issued stern warnings against price gouging, threatening imprisonment for traders caught hoarding, especially rice, during mobile court operations.

Md Monjur-e-Khoda Tarafder, treasurer of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh, said the latest move may bring some results.

“Traders cannot charge the consumers higher than usual when the MRP is written on the product. It will surely be the case for rice, too,” he said.

“But we have a long way to go. There will be results if there is monitoring to ensure implementation of the order.”

Comments

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Bangladesh makes display of rice price, variety mandatory on sacks to stop gouging

Millers will be jailed and fined if they do not follow the order
Express Report
  22 Feb 2024, 02:53

In the wake of an abnormal hike in prices, the government has ordered the rice mills to prominently display their name, location, production date, price, and variety on all rice sacks prior to distribution.

This information must be printed and not handwritten, according to a directive issued by the food ministry on Wednesday,

Corporate firms supplying rice can also put a maximum retail price or MRP on the sacks weighing 50 kg, 25 kg, 10 kg, 5 kg, 2 kg and 1 kg.

The regulation is set to take effect on Apr 14.

If the millers do not follow this order, they will face up to 5 years in jail or Tk 1.5 million fines or both under the Production, Storage, Transfer, Transport, Supply, Distribution and Marketing of Foodstuffs (Prevention of Harmful Activities) Act 2023.

After the decision was finalised in a meeting on Feb 6, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said it would allow the customers to know the rates offered at mill gates.

The notice said inspections confirmed traders were selling the same variety of rice with different names at different rates.

The millers, wholesalers and retailers are blaming each other whenever prices rise abnormally.

These irregularities deprive the customers of their right to fair price and to buying the variety of their choice.

In some cases, they face financial losses.

“The decisions were taken to overcome this situation by ensuring tolerable and reasonable prices, marketing of rice in its original variety, and facilitating monitoring,” the notice said.

In a sweeping crackdown on price gouging, millions of takas in fines imposed during thousands of enforcement actions over a 20-day span starting Jan 21, but these efforts to stabilise rice prices in Bangladesh after an unusual surge have fallen short.

After experiencing an abnormal price increase of up to Tk 6 per kilogram—even during the harvest season, when prices typically fall—the maximum reduction achieved was merely Tk 3 per kilogram.

The spike in prices coincided with the general elections, prompting the newly re-elected Awami League government to take immediate action.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself issued stern warnings against price gouging, threatening imprisonment for traders caught hoarding, especially rice, during mobile court operations.

Md Monjur-e-Khoda Tarafder, treasurer of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh, said the latest move may bring some results.

“Traders cannot charge the consumers higher than usual when the MRP is written on the product. It will surely be the case for rice, too,” he said.

“But we have a long way to go. There will be results if there is monitoring to ensure implementation of the order.”

Comments

46 more Myanmar border police enter into Bangladesh
PM pays homage to Bangabandhu on Mujibnagar Day
Wedding joy shattered: partygoers among 14 killed in Jhalakathi road crash
112 Upazilas will go to the polls in third phase on May 29
Bangladeshi woman couldn't buy family Eid gift. She died by suicide