March 3, 2024

Moon Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked the authorities concerned to strengthen the market monitoring system to control the inflation especially the uptrend of price of essentials in the country.

The premier gave the directive while chairing a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.

Ministers, state ministers, planning commission members and secretaries concerned attended the meeting from the NEC conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that the Prime Minister has directed the authorities concerned to strengthen the market monitoring system to control the price of commodities in the country in the wake of global economic context.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present at the briefing.

“Market can be controlled through executive steps and policy steps while we’ve also undertaken some steps like withdrawing VAT on some essential items alongside reducing the import duty. The concerned government officials are talking with the businessmen on regular basis. Besides, drives are also being conducted when it deems necessary.”

The Planning Minister informed that some one crore families are being provided with food stuffs at less price benefitting some four crore people. Due to such overall steps, the price of essential items like rice and edible oil has reduced.

Revealing the monthly consumer price index, Mannan informed that the general point to point inflation in August stood at 9.52 percentage point which later came down at 9.10 percentage point in September.

Expressing his high hope of yielding a good harvest of T Aman, he said that the overall trend of inflation is on the declining trend and it would further come down in the coming days.

Explaining the reasons behind the high inflation trend, the Planning Minister said that the global economy especially the global market system has been devastated due to the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“So, the whole of the world is now suffering from high commodity price which has also affected us. High inflation is a bad thing and it is not possible on our part alone to tackle inflation,” he added.

Mannan said when the price of any commodity increases in international market, then obviously the price increases in the local market due to high import cost and freight cost. “We also had to purchase oil and gas at a higher rate. But, despite this, our inflation controlling system and monitoring system is strong enough.”

He opined that Bangladesh is still now in a better position compared to other countries of the world in terms of tackling inflation as it is now hovering over 10 percent in the UK while around 10 percent at the United States.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that the general point to point food inflation in India was around 10 percent and compared to that Bangladesh was in a better position.

Highlighting some of the directives of the Prime Minister in the ECNEC meeting, the Planning Minister said that the Prime Minister has urged the countrymen to build the mindset of savings apprehending that the global economic situation could be worsened further in the next year.

Besides, the premier also directed the planning commission to remain cautious in case of project selection and scrutiny.

In this regard, the Prime Minister suggested for taking those projects which could yield better outcomes in short period as well as undertaking those projects which would have high necessity and would be beneficial for people.

Mannan informed that the ECNEC congratulated the Prime Minister due to her recent successful tours to the UK and the USA.

He said that the Prime Minister during the recent general assembly of the United Nations raised strong voices in favour of peace and against war which has further brightened the image of the premier in the global arena.

The ECNEC also congratulated the Prime Minister for stepping into 76 years recently.

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