Who controls the market? Government or syndicates!

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor, Barta24.com
Photo: Barta24

Photo: Barta24

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There are no natural disasters, no drought, recession, heavy rains or floods. Yet there is a lack of daily necessities in the market. Exorbitant high price of commodities! Why?

Particularly the condition of the kitchen market beggars description. The prices of essential vegetables have become uncontrollable. The price of green vegetables has been increasing by leaps and bounds. The prices of potatoes, brinjals and green chillies have doubled in a month.

A month ago, the price of potato was Tk. 20 to 26 per kg, now it is being sold at Tk. 45-55 per kg. The price of brinjals is also increasing along with that of potatoes. The price of brinjals has doubled in a month. Now the price of brinjals has come down to Tk. 80 per kg. The prices of all kinds of vegetables are also increasing. Prices of green chillies, fish and meat are also on the rise.

It is certain that the farmers who produce more are not getting the higher price. They have long ago sold their crops to wholesalers at low prices. Goods are now in the warehouses of big traders, hoarders. Products are being sold at higher prices from there. They are controlling the market. They are also called syndicates.

The prices of various commodities skyrocketed after falling into the hands of this syndicate. Syndicates reduce the supply of goods stored in their warehouses, create artificial pressures and crises, and raise prices at the earliest if there is the slightest problem of import stoppage, production disruption, supply disruption, etc.

At various times, the syndicate of this dishonest business cycle has carried out unscrupulous activities to increase the prices of ginger, garlic, onion, green chilli and even salt. It seems that this money-greedy syndicate is the main controller of the market and commodities, not the government or the producing farmers.

The government and the people all know about the violence of the syndicate. Where the goods have been stored is not unknown. Occasionally, many warehouses were seized and a lot of goods were recovered. But the octopus called Syndicate is not going to be eliminated. Despite the opportunity, this vicious cycle is causing extreme misery by increasing the price of goods uncontrollably in an impunity culture.

Particularly during the global pandemic, the issue of rising commodity prices is extremely inhumane and beyond human tolerance. Because, many people are unemployed due to corona. Many are living on half salary. Day laborers, hard working people, there is no class work to be done day by day. In such an extreme situation, it has become impossible to eat a simple meal like dal-rice-potato mash, which is not only unusual, it is extremely inhumane.

Hoarding and price hiking is one of the most heinous crimes in terms of law and ethics, which is often ravaging public life and the economy in Bangladesh. People do not know who controls the market. Growers or farmers are affected by them. The government is helpless in front of them. Ordinary people are held hostage by them.
If this situation continues, there will be more wailing and dissatisfaction in the country. The market will be out of control and the people will be lost due to the syndicate of some unscrupulous traders, which will lead to loss of peace, stability and normalcy.

Such anarchy cannot be desirable at all. This situation is also detrimental to good governance and civic happiness. As a result, it is important to take appropriate action against this crime. Introducing stringent laws against rape and violence has been taken to prevent the heinous crimes. Similar laws need to be adopted to tackle the market to protect the people from the unnatural pressure of commodity prices.