Commerce minister Tipu Munshi on Tuesday said that stern action would be taken if any trader sells essentials like sugar and edible oil in excess price than the government fixed price, BSS reports.

He said that the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection has been monitoring the market and they would take actions if there is any violation.

The commerce minister told reporters after attending a seminar as the chief guest titled “Smart Bangladesh in the thoughts of Sheikh Hasina” held at Jatiya Press Club in the capital marking the 42nd home coming day of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh Progressive Columnist Forum organised the seminar.

Replying to a question about the recent price hike of onion, Tipu said that the Ministry of Agriculture usually issues permits for importing onion. Onion is not being imported so that the farmers get the fair price.

The Ministry of Agriculture is strictly monitoring the market, he said, adding that they would take decision for importing onion from India if the price of such essential item does not come down.

Speaking on the occasion, the commerce minister said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, prime minister Sheikh Hasina had taken a courageous decision for procuring vaccines giving advance payment.

“It’s only possible for a smart prime minister for building Digital Bangladesh and thus providing necessary directives for building Smart Bangladesh,” he added.

The commerce minister also urged the countrymen to become smart in their thoughts in supporting the premier for materialising Smart Bangladesh.

Considering the graduation of Bangladesh from the LDCs in 2026, he said that the prime minister has already directed the concerned ministries and divisions including the Ministry of Commerce to face the challenges arising from the graduation process.

Presided over by Bangladesh Progressive Columnist Forum President and Jagannath University vice chancellor Dr Mizanur Rahman, the seminar was addressed, among others, by former vice chancellor of Islamic University Dr Rashid Askari, Bangladesh Open University Liberation War Research Centre director Dr Md Jahangir Alam, Dhaka North City Awami League office secretary William Proloy Samaddar Bappi.