The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) on Wednesday demanded the formation of a price stabilisation fund as an alternative to adjusting prices of fuel, gas and electricity amid the hike in prices in the international market.
Besides, the association also asked for a stimulus package to encourage production and use of rice bran oil at a fair price in the country in a bid to reduce import of soybean oil.
The demands came at a virtual conference of the district and upazila level representatives on its digital platform voktakantho.net, where CAB leaders stressed the need for a specific action plan regarding how to keep the living cost at a tolerable limit and supply of 15 to 20 essential commodities, including electricity, water and fuel at a satisfactory level and prices stable.
In his keynote speech, CAB Senior Vice President Professor M Shamsul Alam said there should be two divisions at the commerce ministry - Business Affairs and Consumers' Affairs - to strengthen consumer rights and interest and the Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection should be strengthened by amending rules and laws time to time as per demand.
"The government should provide agricultural inputs, including high quality seeds, along with loans to the farmers through Contract Growing and by engaging the millers to ensure food safety of the consumers and procure paddy and rice directly from farmers after harvesting," he said.
Prof Shamsul also suggested taking legal action against hoarders at an individual level.
Commerce Ministry Senior Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said the consumers' right protection directorate takes legal action in case of any violation of consumer rights. But the process should be improved so that measures can be taken before the rights are denied.