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Commerce Minister Tofail says essential prices will not rise in Ramadan, warns market manipulators

67Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has ruled out a hike in the prices of essentials during Ramadan, saying supply is sufficient before warning against price-gouging attempts.

In a meeting with traders on Monday at the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the minister urged journalists to be careful about reporting on market prices during Ramadan.

Ahmed said, “We have one-and-a-half times more supply than the current demand.

“In such circumstances, there is no scope to create artificial crisis. Essential prices will not go up this Ramadan.”

He warned market manipulators, “Such activities would not bring you any good. So, please do not create unnecessary trouble. It will not bode well for you.”

The minister told journalists: “In many cases, news of prices affects the market. Please be careful while reporting about the market.”

Madina Group Chairman and MP Haji Md Salim assured the minister that prices would not go up. “There was a time when businessmen ran after money. But now they want to provide services.

“As far as I know, there is no abnormal situation in the market now. Volume of imports was large last year and those will be sold this year.”

Secretary general of a meat traders’ body Rabiul Alam said that prices of meat, which were generally set before Shab-e-Barat, were yet to be fixed this year.

“But I want to assure this, it will be within the purchasing power of the people.”

With Ramadan starting from June 17, TCB has already started selling products in the open market.

The government and businessmen assure every year that prices would not rise during the month-long fast. However, there were instances when such assurances did not hold good.