BNP asks govt to rein in prices or face tough agitation


Stating that the government has completely failed to control the soaring prices of essentials due to a ruling party syndicate, BNP on Tuesday warned that it will come up with tough programmes if the power tariff is hiked further.

"The price of every essential commodity has skyrocketed due to corruption and plundering by the government, causing immense sufferings to the public. Those who raise the prices of essentials, they all belong to Awami League," said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

He further said, "The government is now trying to hike power tariff. We'll surely take tough programmes if the power price is increased this time."

The BNP leader also said the price hike of onion and power not only affects BNP, but also all the people of the country. "So, all must come forward to remove the current monstrous regime."

Fakhrul came up with the remarks while speaking at a press conference arranged by BNP at its Naya Paltan central office on the unusual price hike of essential commodities.

He said the government's failure and indifference to control the prices have frustrated the country's people. "The government is responsible for the unbearable market prices of essential items. It's not possible to rein in the price hike of commodities without breaking the partisan business syndicate, regulating the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh and checking the extortion in the transport sector."

The BNP leader said the government must take action against all types of business syndicate to ensure the food security. "Though there's no short supply of essential commodities, their prices are increasing due to the government's failure as it's interested in protecting the interests of its partisan businesspeople."

He alleged that a situation of lawlessness has been created in the country due to December-30 'farcical and midnight' election, widespread corruption, and the growing incidents of enforced disappearance, killing and rape. "That's why the government has failed to control the market, which got reflected through the unbearable price hike of essential items, including that of onion, rice, pulses, oil and salt."

Referring to the prime minister's 16 November comment that onion price problem would be resolved as onion-loaded cargo planes were supposed to reach the country in a couple of days, Fakhrul said Sheikh Hasina has been visiting different countries, including Dubai, India and Spain, but the prices of rice, pulses, salt, oil, ginger, garlic, and winter vegetables keep rising influenced by onion.

"Overall, the price of everything used for cooking in everyday life has gone beyond the buying capacity of common people," he observed.

Criticising the ruling party leaders for asking people not to consume onion due to its intolerable price hike, Fakhrul said the government's responsibility is to control the prices of commodities, but not to decide who will eat what.