Traders promise not to profiteer in Ramadan

Traders have promised not to profit more than 10 percent to keep retail prices of essentials within the reach of people in Ramadan.

Additional Commerce Secretary A T M Murtoza Reza Chowdhury told reporters of the pledge after a meeting of the importers and business leaders at the ministry on Tuesday.

He said the decision would take effect from Wednesday.

The official said the government will monitor the market to keep prices of lentil, chick peas, onion, garlic, ginger, dried chilli, turmeric, spices nad and date stable.

He said the importers could make one percent profit on the wholesale prices after meeting their import costs.

"Wholesale traders can make one percent profit after meeting their transportation and other costs. Expenses of retailers are higher as they sell products to the consumers directly. So, they're allowed to make profit up to 10 percent."

He also said that displaying price list on the board at shops and supermarkets would be made compulsory to check change in prices of essentials in Ramadan.

"The have to sell products at the maximum retail price found on the packaging."

Chowdhury said the business leaders also agreed with the decisions taken in the meeting.

The Addional Secretary said the ministry would soon start a vigil on the wholesale markets in a bid to keep the prices of essential commodities stable.

The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), the state-run watchdog agency to monitor the quality of foods and manufactured items, will also monitor the markets across the country to curb artificial price hike.

Chowdhury said the ministry would send letters to the business community requesting to refrain from making windfall profits during Ramadan, a month of shopping spree.

The ministry would also hold meeting with the leaders of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Dhaka City Corporation Supermarket Shop Owners Association and bazaar committees soon, the official added.

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