The Ministry of Industries said on Sunday that a nationwide campaign will be launched, led by the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), to curb the sale of adulterated and substandard food products in the upcoming Ramadan.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid said this at a press conference organised in the morning.
He said during Ramadan, demand increases for various products including dates, soft drinks, fruit drinks and syrups, edible oils, mustard oil, ghee, semai, and water. Taking advantage of this seasonal demand, some traders sell adulterated products eyeing huge profits.
"To prevent this adulteration, BSTI will operate two mobile courts in Dhaka. These mobile courts will also operate in districts around Dhaka in collaboration with the police and RAB. Mobile courts will also be set up in each upazila outside Dhaka, under the direction of deputy commissioners, and leadership of UNOs," the minister said.
The industries minister said traders in Muslim countries reduce the prices of goods during Ramadan. But some traders in our country raise prices instead, destabilising the market. The government will show zero tolerance towards these businessmen and practices.
Nurul Majid said Bangladesh Food and Sugar Industry Corporation's (BFSIC) sugar will be sold at a fair price. He said unpacked sugar would be sold at Tk60 and packaged sugar at Tk65.
However, citing that the price of sugar will be higher than the price suggested by the minister, BFSIC Chairman Arifur Rahman Apu said, "Earlier, the government did not pay any commission to dealers. From now on, in the case of unpacked sugar, dealers' commission has been fixed at Tk3 which means they will sell unpacked sugar at Tk63. The dealer price of packaged sugar is Tk68 and it will be sold at not more than Tk75 in the market."
"At present, the corporation has a stock of about 40,000 tons of sugar," he said, adding that if sugar prices increase in the market, the government will sell sugar at a fair price from mobile shops.
State Minister for Industries, Kamal Ahmed Majumder, said monitoring is being intensified so that people can be free from adulteration. Some traders are making large sums of money engaging in adulteration. They are trying to make more money without thinking about death in the epidemic. They must face punishment.