Stockpiling of daily commodities for higher profits not acceptable: HC

A syndicate monopolising and hoarding daily commodities, including soybean oil, for extra profit is unacceptable, said the High Court on Sunday.

The HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Moniruzzaman made the remarks while hearing a writ petition seeking directions to set up a monitoring cell to control soybean oil prices in the market.

The court said some people buy more soybean oil than they need, which may lead to higher prices in the market. In the case of daily commodities including soybean oil, it is not acceptable for a syndicate to have monopoly business and stockpile products for extra profit.

Instructing the writ petitioners to amend the petition, the court said there can be an artificial crisis of all essential commodities ahead of the month of Ramadan. Not just soybean oil, but all essential commodities are included in the writ. Such an order should be given for the benefit of every citizen of the country.

The court also said that the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) needs to formulate a policy on the distribution of essential commodities.

The court also set Monday for the hearing of the petition.

Advocate Syed Mohidul Kabir appeared for the writ petition in the court while Deputy Attorney General Pratikar Chakma represented the state.

Earlier on March 6, Supreme Court lawyers Monir Hossain, Syed Mohidul Kabir and Mohammad Ullah filed the writ petition in the public interest.

The secretary of Commerce Ministry, Consumer Rights Authority and others were made respondents in the petition.

On March 3, the three lawyers brought the issue of soybean oil price hike to the notice of HC following a report published in an English daily about the hike in the price of soybean oil.

According to the report, a group of traders in Bangladesh has raised the price of soybean oil at an unusual rate, taking advantage of the Russia-Ukraine war.

On March 2, the price of a liter of loose soybean was charged at Tk 175 from the buyers in the market that is fixed at Tk 143 by the government.

Source: United News of Bangladesh