'It has become impossible to control the market due to the inconsistent price hikes'
Experts on Sunday said that feeble price controlling mechanism was behind the recent trend in soaring price hikes of essential kitchen ingredients.
They made their remarks during a webinar titled "Consumer Rights in the Face of Rising Prices of Goods and Services" jointly organized by the Consumers Association Bangladesh (CAB) and Vokta Kantho.
Prof M Shamsul Alam, an energy expert, said that it has become impossible to control the market due to the inconsistent price hikes.
He added that it could only be controlled if the imbalance between market monitoring and income revenue could be overcome.
The webinar was hosted by Syed Mizanur Rahman Raju, convener of CAB.
CAB President Golam Rahman presided over the function.
Rajekuzzaman, leader of Sramik-KarmachariOikya Parishad, shed light on the ordeals faced by the consumers.
Highlighting a survey, he said 10% of the people in the country are affluent. Apart from this, the remaining 90% are directly affected by the price rise of domestic products.
As prices of essential commodities go up, it puts pressure not only on wage earners, but also on the whole family. As a result, their mental wellbeing is disturbed.
Referring to the rise in prices of goods and services in the economy as a whole, he said that 90% of consumers are forced to buy substandard goods and services due to the inconsistency in price hikes but with the same income, which has a far-reaching effect on consumers.
He called for a more consistent pricing of essential commodities, and intensified market monitoring rather than just relying on inflation adjustment.
Other speakers at the webinar included Prof. MM Akash, Prof. Malay Bhowmik, Barrister Jotirmoy Barua and Musa Mia.
They highlighted the far-reaching impact of price increases on consumers.
Kazi Abdul Hannan, editor of Voktakantho, called for reducing the inequality between disabled consumers and able consumers.
The second webinar was attended by journalists from home and abroad as well as members of the Consumer Grievance Redressal Committee CAB, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) and district and upazila representatives of CAB.