It will take time to reach the goal of protecting consumer rights: Commerce Minister

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said progress has been made in protecting consumer rights, but it will take more time to reach the target. He said this at a seminar of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) on the lack of manpower in the Department of Consumer Protection.

CAB’s seminar titled ‘District-Upazila Consumer Representative Conference-2021 and Strengthening Consumer Rights’ was held on Sunday.

Speaking at the seminar, Tipu Munshi said that the main task is not only campaigning, fines and market monitoring, but also promoting the rights of consumers. If consumers know what their rights are, they will be aware. He added that the Commerce Ministry is on high alert to keep prices stable. For this, various administrative activities including market inspection are continuing. Many officials, including the director general of the Department of Consumer Protection, have been affected by Corona while working in the epidemic. This government is business friendly. The government is committed to improving business as well as keeping commodity prices within the purchasing power of the people.

On competition in the market and commodity prices, the Commerce Minister said, “The Competition Commission is working. We want a transparent competition so that there is no monopoly business, there is a fair price, the price cannot be increased arbitrarily. There has to be a competition for that, so that consumers get the opportunity at the end of the day. It will increase people’s purchasing power, will also increase spending power. Declining consumer demand in the Corona situation has adversely affected production and employment. The government has announced huge package incentives to overcome this situation by mobilizing economic activities. Everyone needs to be vigilant and work together so that consumers do not fall into the hands of dishonest traders. ‘

Speaking at the seminar, Golam Rahman, former chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission, said neighboring India had set up a separate ministry in 1997 called Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution to protect the interests and needs of consumers. There is no single ministry in Bangladesh to protect the interests of consumers and coordinate the activities of different ministries. For this, Golam Rahman thinks that two separate departments named ‘Business Affairs’ and ‘Consumer Affairs’ may be created in the Ministry of Commerce.

Daffodil University Associate Professor Syed Mizanur Rahman presented the keynote address at the event. It made 14 recommendations to the government to protect consumer rights.

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