A dealer shop named Abul Khayer Traders in the capital’s Jatrabari area has been sealed for overpricing soybean oil.
The dealer was fined Tk 200,000. Besides, 60 barrels of edible oil were seized from the shop.
A mobile court jointly run by the commerce ministry and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection fined the dealer in a raid on Saturday afternoon.
According to these two government agencies, the price of soybean oil fixed by the government is Tk 143 per litre. However, it was being sold at Tk 173 per litre at Abul Khayer Traders.
Md Riyad, the man in charge of the shop during the drive said, “We have bought soybean oil at a price of Tk 171.80 per litre. We are selling at Tk 172 to Tk 173 per litre.”
He further said, “We purchase oil from three or four sources in Moulvibazar at a high price. These sellers don’t provide any receipt for that. They say what is the necessity of a payslip. If you need oil, just take it. They sell thousands of litres of oil. They don't bother if we stop purchasing from them for not providing receipts. Therefore, we have no other way, and bound to purchase oil from them”.
Speaking to the newspersons at the end of the drive, Monjur Mohammad Shahriar, director of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, said, “The government has fixed the price of soybean oil at Tk 143 per litre. It is too much taking an extra Tk 30 per litre. There is a discrepancy behind this.”
“All the traders in the country purchase soybean and palm oil mainly from a few big companies in the country. Every year we monitor the retail market. This year we are working on the upper levels in the supply chain following the orders from the high-ups. The price of oil is skyrocketing due to the manipulation of a vested quarter. We will get information in this regard in the next two to three days. No one will be spared in case of discrepancy. We will have zero tolerance against those who cause such unrest," he added.
The mobile court of the commerce ministry was led by deputy secretary Abul Kalam Azad. Regarding the drive on Saturday, he said, “During the drive the retailers said that they purchased oil from the whole sellers at a high price. Therefore, they were forced to sell at much higher than the price fixed by the government."
"Based on this information we sent two officials to Abul Khayer Traders in the disguise customers to verify the allegations of the retailers. At first, the sellers asked for Tk 176 per litre of soybean oil. After a little bargaining they agreed to sell at Tk 173 per litre. But when the officials asked for the receipt, the sellers refused to provide it and misbehaved with them. They did the same with other customers as well," Abdul Kalam Aazad added.