Stern actions will be taken against traders if they are found selling onion at exorbitant prices and making excessive profit, warned Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Chattogram Mohammad Ilias Hossain yesterday.
While addressing a views-exchange meeting with onion traders on controlling prices of the vegetable, the DC urged them to keep the price at reasonable stage.
Warehouse owners and commission agents of Khatunganj wholesale hub as well as leaders of trade associations were present at the meeting, held at the conference room of Chattogram district administration.
In his speech, the DC said, “We are not against traders. But when people suffer, we are ready to take action. We don’t want you to make excessive profit and also don’t want to disturb the trade.”
He made it mandatory for all wholesalers and retailers to display price charts at their outlets.
The DC directed depot owners and commission agents to keep the names and phone numbers of importers as well as receipts of their purchase. The administration or the ministry will directly contact the importers if necessary, he said.
He warned of punitive actions if any trader is found engaged in selling onion through illegal means.
Traders at the meeting urged the DC to take steps for allowing onion-laden trucks entering the city at daytime for smooth supply of the vegetable.
The DC assured them of taking steps in this regard. He mentioned that fewer number of such trucks are arriving at Khatunganj market these days.
He suspected that some unscrupulous traders may have been preventing those trucks from coming to Khatunganj, sensing less profit due to recent mobile court drives. “We are looking into the matter,” he added.
DC Hossain said that according to the commerce ministry’s list, they found names of eight Chattogram-based onion importers but none of them showed up in yesterday’s meeting even after they were informed. He said the administration will inquire about it.
Former director of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mahfujul Hoque Shah; Khatunganj Trade and Industries Association general secretary Syed Sagir Ahmad; Hamidullah Mia Market Traders Association general secretary Mohammad Idris and Chaktai-Khatunganj Aratdar Samity president Jahangir Alam spoke at the meeting, among others.