Devout Muslims are waiting for mercy, forgiveness and salvation. They are waiting for this month to get forgiveness of sins and good deeds. On the other hand, the organization of additional profiteering and extortion is also entrepreneurial. Some people are waiting for this opportunity. Ramadan is their annual earning season. From the sidewalk to the terminal, from the mahalla to the raw market, everything is their hot spot. They are advancing like a target with the disciples-feudal lords. Huge workplan. The godfathers of this state are giving NOCs or permits from the corrupt political leaders and activists and the corrupt police.
Every year before the month of Ramadan, the prices of almost all daily necessities go up. When Ramadan starts, it increases a little more. On the occasion of any Puja-Parvan-Eid, the key of the market goes into the hands of the evil circle. The price of daily commodities will go up – it is like an unwritten rule. The products are just gifts, not necessities. These products are not bought every day. Only bought on special days. So even if the price of those products goes up, the suffering of common people does not increase. In this way Bangladesh is different. Not just expensive luxury goods, but prices of all daily necessities are raised whenever the opportunity arises. Traders have increased prices of edible oil, soybean, palm oil, onion, flour and pulses. The prices of rice, sugar, lentils, packets of flour and flour are being increased on the pretext of artificial crisis or various excuses even though adequate stocks and supply are normal. This time the situation is more different. The market for daily commodities has risen a lot this time. Russia-Ukraine war has escalated to another point. Then, keeping Ramadan in front, this time more innovation in the trap of the syndicate. Within a month, prices of all types of pulses, edible oil, ginger, garlic, onion, turmeric, chilli, sugar, salt and even dates have been increased in the retail market of the capital. Prices of beef and chicken have also gone up. According to the government body Trading Corporation of Bangladesh-TCB, prices of 18 types of daily commodities have gone up in the retail market in one month. In reality the number is even higher. The prices of the products that have decreased or not increased do not match. Under the pressure of the situation, the commerce minister has said that he will survive if he is fired.
Every year the traders raise the prices in various ways in an organized manner. The government does not have the opportunity to be strict against individuals. There are plenty of excuses for traders to raise prices. The prices of daily commodities have been rising for six consecutive months due to the international market. Now comes the Russia-Ukraine war.
You have to make a profit to keep the business afloat. But unethical practices like making three to four times extra profit in the name of making profit are not justifiable. Increasing the price of one product at a time in cycles throughout the year is a serious violation of any religious teaching. It is also true that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has hit the market. Bangladesh does not have the opportunity to be free from its negative economic effects. Inflation on it is also quite upward. Rising inflation means increasing the suffering of marginalized and marginalized people. This can have a negative impact on food production, distribution, supply and price levels; Which will have an uncomfortable effect on food prices. Religious people can play at least some role. While in developing countries, the per capita income growth rate is no longer acceptable, denying that the purchasing power of the common man has declined during the Corona period. It is not necessary to be an expert to understand the impact of the Ukraine crisis on food products, especially wheat and fuel oil. Russia and Ukraine supply about one-third of the world’s wheat. The supply of wheat and oil to the international market will be further reduced if Western sanctions imposed on Russia continue with the ongoing conflict. Prices will go up. Then Bangladesh will have to buy these at a higher price, which may increase the pressure of inflation inside the country. Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) raised the price of fuel oil in the country at a high rate in November last year, which pushed up domestic inflation in the following month.
One-fifth of Bangladesh’s total world trade is done with EU countries. Textiles and readymade garments account for about 90 percent of Bangladesh’s exports to the EU. The move to separate Russia from Swift would make import-export trade with Russia almost impossible. The United States is going to impose tougher economic sanctions. This means that very few countries will be able to transact international transactions in violation of this ban. In doing so, the country could also be subject to sanctions. Meanwhile, if the war continues, there is a risk of increase in freight and insurance charges of cargo ships. In such a situation, the teaching of moderation in Ramadan is important for each of our sectors. But sadly, there is no sign of restraint in any of our sectors. In addition recklessness is more. That is in all cases. From food, clothing, health to religious rituals.
With Ramadan looming, reckless pavement trade too. Linemen ready in Tamil for extortionists’ orders around the sidewalk. As always, targets are being set in different areas. According to various media reports, small and large groups involved in extortion are around a hundred on the sidewalks of the capital. Hundreds of members in each group. Meanwhile, locals are seeing new faces in Gulistan, Motijheel, Farmgate, Mirpur, Uttara, Gauchia, New Market, New Market and Bangshal-Sadarghat. According to the Bangladesh Hawkers Federation, there are about three lakh regular hawkers in the capital. And at least one and a quarter lakh seasonal hawkers are being added in Ramadan. The daily subscription in their area has to be counted at 200 to 400 rupees. 500 in some areas. In the name of setting up seasonal hawkers, they have to pay up to Rs. All in all, hundreds of crores of rupees. These traffickers are no strangers to law enforcement.
They are not to be identified by searching or conducting a search. The police know them. They also have a lot of understanding with the police. However, the leaders and activists of the ruling party and the ward councilors blamed the khas people and the police got away with it. The police have a chance to take responsibility for the occasional cat-catching or running drama like the cat-and-mouse game. Somewhere in the collection of extortion the police-terrorists are equal. Mobile phone extortion is also going on in the name of top terrorists. As the extortion of snakes has increased by showing snakes in the streets, so are the hijras raising extortion. The beggars also have to pay several times more. It is possible to bring the footpath business under control without making this special mahal a professional extortionist. There are also sidewalks in different countries of the world. They also have limited shopping arrangements under special discipline.
In Bangladesh, especially in the capital, initiatives have been taken several times to make the sidewalks hawker-free. Success did not come. This is not possible in a hurry in the reality of Bangladesh. However, in the cities, the city or municipal corporations and the police have been working together to regulate the sidewalks and give legitimacy to the hawkers’ business. But there is no follow-up. It is worth mentioning that no one ever makes specific allegations of extortion on the sidewalk. There is no chance of ignoring the fact that there are no complaints or no one does. In this case, the state has a lot of responsibility. The government is expected to take action in this case on its own initiative.
Mostafa Kamal: Journalist and columnist; News Editor, Banglavision.
Source: Bhorer Kagoj by www.bhorerkagoj.com.
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