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Commentary

No advice to be economical, honest people are already in hardship

21 May 2022
No advice to be economical, honest people are already in hardship


Editorial Desk :
Is soybean oil really harmful for the human body? If it's so bad for health, why didn't the commerce minister warn us earlier? Reportedly, he also suggested the consumers use rice bran oil instead.
Recently, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi made the remarks after a meeting with the task force committee in the capital. But his assurance and warning to control price at the meeting does not seem to comfort the people at all. Our ministers assure the people that they have nothing to fear whenever the price of a product goes up. But no effective steps have been taken to implement that assurance. When he advised the people to consume rice bran oil produced in the country instead of imported soybean oils, what is the real situation? `
Although the nutritional value of rice bran oil is higher than that of soybean and palm, there is no initiative to make this brand popular with consumers and reduce its production cost. According to the minister, the country is currently producing 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes of rice bran oil. It could be increased to 700,000 tonnes. Question arises how long will it take to raise it to 700,000 tonnes? What will people consume in the meantime? According to the Export Promotion Bureau, 20,000 tonnes of crude rice bran oil was exported in 2017-18 due to lack of demand in the country. Rice bran oil is very popular in many countries, including India and China.
Reportedly, Rashid Oil Mills Limited started its production of rice bran oil in Ishwardi, Pabna in 2011 under the name 'White Gold'. Many other companies started producing rice bran oil later. But they did not get much support from the government. As a result, many have left the business failing to compete with imported oil.
After another meeting of the task force committee on Wednesday, the commerce minister told reporters that around 74 per cent of wheat import comes from India. Even if India imposed a ban on wheat
    
exports, it would not be fully applicable to Bangladesh. But the reality is that the price of flour in Bangladesh has gone up by four taka per kg immediately after the announcement of ban on Indian exports. Even if the price of flour goes up, it will have an effect on rice prices as well.
Ministers and ruling party leaders advise everyone to be economical. Will the rich people listen to their advice? But the average consumers -- the poor and the marginalised -- are always frugal. Hard reality forces them to be frugal.

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