Rapid Action Battalion members stand guard as Muslim devotees gather to offer special morning prayers to start the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of their holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Natoinal Eidgha in Dhaka on May 3, 2022. (Photo by Munir uz zaman / AFP) (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Bangladeshi commerce minister Tipu Munshi has warned traders against running after excessive profits during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan and cautioned consumers to be prudent by only spending on items that they need.
“I would request everyone not to do anything that causes public suffering. We have humanitarian responsibilities and we need sensible businessmen,” Munshi said at an event organised by Bangladesh’s Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection to mark World Consumer Rights Day on Wednesday (15), according to bdnews24.com.
“Globally, customers are offered special discounts during festivals, but our country is an exception. Ramadan is approaching and I would request traders to exercise restraint. Please charge ethical prices. We can’t monitor you all the time, so we leave it to your conscience,” the minister added.
He said the consumers should practise austerity during Ramadan and only buy goods that are necessary.
“A supply system exists in the market. If you start buying 20 kg (kilogram) of onions instead of 5 kg, supply can’t be increased overnight.”
“Don’t get attracted by flashy advertisements. Never believe someone if they offer you a motorcycle at a price cheaper than its production cost. They’ll just cheat you,” he warned.
The member of the ruling Awami League party added that there was a time when the people of Bangladesh were not aware of their rights as consumers but the situation has changed now.
“The directorate [of consumer rights] is active and consumers are being compensated when their rights are violated. Half of our job will be done if we can create awareness among the people,” he added.
Munshi expressed hope that the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will double its sales during Ramadan and reach 10 million families.
The TCB will sell rice, pulses, edible oil, dates, and chickpeas, he said.