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Rice traders flee being scared of fine during drives

Hearing about the arrival of a team from the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, rice traders at Mohammad Krishi Market in the capital on Tuesday fled their shops.

Later, the traders didn’t return to their shops despite repeated requests. However, they became busy after the National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate team left the market.

The team from the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection conducted drives at Krishi Market on early Tuesday (May 31) afternoon. At that time, two rice shops–SM Rice Agency and Anwar Traders–were fined Tk 4,000 for anomalies in the list of their rice prices.

Fahmina Akter, assistant director of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, said, “We’ve come here to know why the prices of different varieties of rice have increased. But, knowing about the arrival of us, many traders fled from their shops. But, they didn’t return to their shops despite repeated requests.”

“The traders have alleged that though they are willing to pay in full, they are not getting adequate quantity of rice. Millers told them that they were being compelled to buy rice at high prices due to damage of paddy this year. Its impact is being felt on rice. Besides, many traders are not getting rice despite paying in advance,” she said.

Asked why the shopkeepers fled their shops, Krishi Market’s wholesale rice owners association’s general secretary Syed Monirul Islam Montu said, “They though that they would be fined. Being scared of the fine, they fled their shops. The official of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection wanted to know about the reasons of rice price hike and we apprised her of it.”