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Monitor prices before fixing tariff structure

Edible oil refiners suggest at seminar

FE Report | January 29, 2019 00:00:00

Edible oil refiners on Monday suggested Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) should monitor oil prices at production, distribution and retail level before fixing the tariff structure.

Many distributors show less interest in purchasing oil even after making profit of Tk 5.0 a litre, they said, adding that the producers earn profit in between Tk 0.50 and Tk 1.0.

They also sought necessary support from the commission to ensure level playing field for all so that all consumers of the country can buy a product at a same rate.

The suggestions came at an awareness building seminar jointly organised by BTC and Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers' Association (BVORVMA) at the latter's office in the capital.

Chairman of City Group Fazlur Rahman said many departments like Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution, directorate of national consumer rights protection, city corporations and BTC monitor the market of essential items.

"This often creates problems for the businesses in the form of issuing different instructions. I think there should be a committee comprising members of all the entities that will help bring discipline in the market," he added.

The chief of the country's leading edible oil refinery said many people buy oil in bulk through drums that don't have any level or branding.

"If something is found wrong in oil after the purchase why should we take the responsibility. The BTC should take measures to stop bulk selling. We want to sell it in packet where all information will be available," he said.

BVORVMA president Mostafa Kamal who presided over the seminar said they find it hard to convince the agents or distributors to buy oil.

"They demands more profit. It is not a good thing for the market. The BTC should look into the matter," said Mostafa Kamal, also chairman and managing director of Meghna Group of Industries.

Speaking as the chief guest, BTC member Sheikh Abdul Mannan sought intensive cooperation from the businesses to make the domestic market stable in line with the global market.

He said the commission can resolve many problems being faced by the private sector if the business entities approach the commission with accurate data and information.

Giving a brief description of the commission's function, BTC member Dr Mostafa Abid Khan said the tariff policy should be considered as a tool of trade policy, but not as the revenue policy.

BTC member Shah Md Abu Raihan Alberuni, among others, also spoke at the event.

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