POST TIME: 1 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM
Rise in packaged milk price unjustifiable

Rise in packaged milk price unjustifiable

When the scare of coronavirus outbreak has created an undesirable situation in our country along with almost the entire world, rise in the price of packaged milk, often used to feed babies, is quite worrying. According to a report of this newspaper yesterday, the unjustifiable rise has triggered dissatisfaction among consumers.

A one-litre packet of Milk Vita, a state-controlled organisation, is now being sold for Tk 70, up from Tk 65. Aarong, a private dairy, has also hiked the price of packaged milk following Milk Vita's decision. Packaged milk is a source of nutrition for children and elderly people. The consumers, particularly those belonging to the fixed income group will be affected at this hike.

There is no dearth of pleas for increasing the prices of daily essential commodities. The consumers have to bear the brunt of it. How many consumers are able to pay the increased price? The assurance that the prices of essentials will remain stable is hardly translated into action and remains within the confines of rhetoric. This is very unfortunate to say the least.

The holy month of Ramadan is approaching. Prices of essentials may register rise jeopardizing the fasting people with fixed incomes. A section of dishonest traders raise the prices of essential commodities on various pretexts and make fortunes fleecing the consumers. The teaching of the holy month fails to leave any impact on them. Besides, artificial crisis of essentials is created and the hoarders reap the benefits.

Prices of essentials should remain stable throughout the year in the interest of the consumers. The relevant authorities should assess the import position, supply situation and the stock position of essential commodities on a regular basis. If the demand and supply positions match there should not be any shortage of commodities in the markets, much to the relief of the consumers.

The high officials of the relevant ministry can hold meetings with the business leaders and traders from time to time. It will help to keep prices of essentials stable. Keeping a vigil on the dishonest traders is also needed. Every citizen of the country is a consumer. It is the responsibility of the authorities concerned to protect the rights of consumers.