Govt speeds up oil, sugar efforts | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 03, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 03, 2011

Govt speeds up oil, sugar efforts

Commerce ministry will hold a follow-up meeting tomorrow to put distributorship in place

The government yesterday asked the importers of edible oil and sugar to appoint distributors across the country, in a bid to rein in the prices of the two items.
The latest move that came on the back of the government's months of battle against 'market manipulators' will phase out the so-called delivery order (DO) system so the importers, refiners and traders cannot increase prices only by creating middlemen.
The DO system allows the traders to upset the domestic market despite low prices on the international market.
After a meeting with the importers, refiners, dealers, association leaders and traders at his office, Commerce Secretary Ghulam Hossain said the distributorship system will not be applicable to unpacked edible oil and sugar.
The meeting also agreed that the two items will not be sold unpacked in future.
“We have found that the traditional DO system has so far failed to contain the prices and the system created middlemen,” Hossain said.
The decision came on the basis of the recommendations of a government sub-committee on introduction of distributorship system instead of the traditional DO system for marketing the commodities.
The committee headed by Additional Secretary of the ministry ATM Mortuza Reza Chowdhury prepared the recommendations, proposing some guidelines for appointing distributors.
The committee submitted the recommendations yesterday.
The ministry will sit again tomorrow to decide when the new system would be effective, the secretary said.
Earlier, after several attempts, the ministry for the second time set the prices of edible oil on December 22 for Dhaka and Chittagong, but the efforts to tame the market were far from effective.
In line with the December 22 decision, a litre of bottled soybean oil costs Tk 103 in Dhaka and Tk 102 in Chittagong.
The mill gate price of unpacked soybean oil was set at Tk 88 per litre and palm oil at Tk 84 in Dhaka. In Chittagong, it is Tk 87 and Tk 83.
At consumer level, the price of unpacked soybean oil is Tk 90 per litre and palm oil Tk 86 in Dhaka. The price is Tk 89 and Tk 85 in Chittagong.
Commerce Minister Faruk Khan chaired yesterday's hour-long meeting.
Bangladesh Tariff Commission Chairman Mujibur Rahman, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh Chairman Sarwar Jahan Talukder, Chief Controller of Imports and Exports of the commerce ministry MA Sabur, Director General of National Consumers Rights Protection Directorate Abul Hossain Mia, Director General of the Cell of World Trade Organisation Amitav Chakravarty, Chairman of Bangladesh Edible Oil Refiners' Association A Rouf Chowdhury and member of Bangladesh Sugar Refiners' Association Gulam Rahman were also present.

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