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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

There is no other syndicate than the govt itself

VETERAN politician and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce Ministry Tofail Ahmed on Sunday said there was no syndicate in the onion market and so, the prices of the item could not be brought down by force. "We will have to bring down the prices of onions through a concerted effort," the senior AL lawmaker said after a meeting of the committee at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban. Former commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, terming businessmen the friends of the government, also thanked different business houses for extending support by importing onions. He said journalists can play a key role in reducing the prices of onions by not publishing stories on the skyrocketed prices of the cooking ingredient.  "In many countries, media do not cover the price hike of essentials," he said.
We are not surprised when Tofail Ahmed denied the allegation of syndicated business of onion. But we feel ashamed when he advices the journalists not to cover news of the price hike of essentials. What's true is that onion is out of reach of common people for the last couple of months. Its price has been fluctuating from Tk 190 to Tk 260 per kg depending on its variety. There is no doubt that, some business houses have imported onions from different countries. But its quantity is too small to meet the gap of shortage. We humbly want to ask a question - have the Ministers and ruling party leaders seen the long queues of people waiting on the roads for hours to buy a kilogram of onion selling from the truck under auspices of TCB?  
Admitting failure is a part of good governance. Similarly, putting blame on other's shoulder for the failure is a sign of bad governance. There are widespread speculations that over Tk 50,000 crore have been swallowed by the syndicate by cutting the pockets of general people in the last 2/3 months by hiking the price of onions. Still, it is going on. In fact, there is no visible control of government on the market.