** To seek alternative to Assad is not to be Russia's concern ** Elections more important than Covid-19: CEC ** Mother, newborn die from wrong treatment ** AL factional clash leaves 15 injured in Madaripur ** Education in dire crisis Schools, colleges not to open till June 30 ** Continuous rain in the past few days has created waterlogging in the Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra (DND) dam area. The aerial view of this photo shows that a large part of Matuail at Demra in the capital inundates due to inadequacies of the drainage system. ** Tk 150b sought for coastal protection ** VAT collection Restaurant owners raise allegation of harassment ** USA to give 70 lakh doses Covid vaccine to BD: Chuck Schumer ** KSA bars foreign pilgrims from Hajj ** BD signs deal with China to buy vaccines ** Man lynched soon after he hacks another man to death ** Budget fails to address health, poverty, unemployment ** Third Covid wave feared Infection rate reaches 14pc ** Maritime ports asked to hoist signal No 3 ** Israeli guard shoots dead Palestinian woman ** Thousands march in support of Muslim family killed in truck attack in Canada ** Not only Covid patients, the people who are suffering from other critical diseases cannot get admitted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital due to shortage of bed. ** Mukul Roy returns to Trinamool fold after nearly 4 years ** Mossad conducted operations against Iran’s nuke projects ** Cop crushed under drug-laden microbus ** Rajshahi, Khulna cities go under strict lockdown ** Delayed restriction blamed for Covid surge in bordering dists ** Man sells off his wife to sex traffickers ** BD preparing plan to face challenges **

More the merrier

12 November 2020

MEDIA reports on Wednesday advanced suggestion to set up a separate ministry or a department to regulate the commodity market as existing government regulatory bodies are failing to hold it under check. It has raised the question on the usefulness of about a dozen regulatory bodies, besides 12 companies and 30 to 35 market inspection teams including law enforcement agencies to suggest they are not delivering to give relief to consumers. Market manipulators are routinely exploiting consumers who find them totally at the mercy of dishonest importers, traders and hoarders.  
The report said so many regulatory agencies are watching the market on paper but practically the market is totally out of control. Traders mainly blame supply shortage which is an artificial blame game to force buyers to pay exorbitant prices. It appears that most agencies are issuing instructions but none is making sure whether the market is obeying the orders. As a way out some market analysts this time have come up with the suggestion to set up a separate ministry or department under the ministry of commerce to take an integrated drive to effectively regulate the market.
In fact such suggestion is not anything new. But in our view what we need now is not any new organization but the political will of the government to establish discipline in the market. We have TCB trying to provide low cost items to the poor. We have directorate of consumers' right protection; there is also a competition commission among many keep market stable. The FBCCI as the apex trade body is also involved in as much as to ensure timely import and smooth supply of commodities.  
But it appears nothing is producing results. Potatoes now sell at Tk 45 per kg and onion at Tk 100 which was sold at ever higher price at Tk 225 last year.  Mill owners, mostly ruling party MPs have raised rice prices at mill gates spiraling prices in retail market. So we believe new ministry or agency may similarly fail unless the government will decide to discipline the market and allow it to properly function. But this dysfunctional corrupt government is incapable to this job while powerful party leaders regularly collect bribes from importers and big merchants who in turn raise commodity prices to recover their cost.

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