When will edible oil price become normal?
According to the current new oil price, the price of bottled soyabean oil has been increased from Tk 180 per liter to Tk 198. The price of a 5 liter bottle will now is 975 Tk.
As a result, the people who have come to buy the much-needed groceries are crushed by the oil crisisspeaking of which, despite having adequate oil reserves, why is it not being supplied to the market? Is this a premonition of a man-made oil crisis, where the impact of rising prices is likely to disrupt public life? When will the abnormal shoot with this oil stop? How much is it desirable to create a new crisis in public life and in the whole country due to a lack of a proper solution?
Covid's horrific shock has set the world's economic market system in a new equationwhich has a significant impact in all parts of Bangladesh. Needless to say, post-Covid unemployment, and the price of essential commodities, has skyrocketed in developing countries with specific Covid infections. The crisis in Ukraine-Russia has created a situation like adding fuel to the fire of rising commodity prices which has a detrimental effect on the fuel trade.
Edible oil is one of the most talked about products in the current international market. The price of soyabean oil has risen at a similar rate in Bangladesh on the pretext of increasing the price of soybean oil due to the polarization of various global problems.
Interestingly, despite the rise in edible oil prices during the global crisis, the crisis has stabilized prices favourably. But Bangladesh is no exception. Whether the crisis is stable or unstable, the price has gone up. Difficult to understand-what is the main purpose of the business community then? Suppose the production of paddy has been good and the stock is also sufficient.As a result, there is no shortage. So why are ordinary people in plight? However, how logical is the immediate solution to the problem?
The current market price of essential edible oil and soyabean oil is 200+ Tk per liter. By the way, in order to ensure that the religious festivals of Muslim-majority Bangladesh can be celebrated by all, the prices of essential commodities have not been favourable to the people, but the prices of individual products have been skyrocketing from time to time. It goes without saying that there is no oil in the market according to the demand of the people.
The government has banned the sale of open oil in the market due to the closure of oil stocks. Even after this, the price of essential edible oil and soyabean oil has not decreased at all. Meanwhile, 80 per cent of soybean oil is sold in the open, which has a detrimental effect on the lower and middle classes, unable to buy bottled edible oil due to high prices.
It would not be wrong to give the responsibility specifically to the oil companies, as there is a crisis in the sales of the sellers due to their inadequate supply, and as a result, they are not hesitating to sell at high prices. The government should take appropriate action in this regard. Otherwise, the human line behind TCB will not take long to get longer.
This has been going on for a long time with edible oil. There is an end to all games, but playing with oil is like maintaining an episode-based continuity. Thus, the price of essential commodities is rising, and the price of edible oil is increasing by leaps and bounds.
The stages behind this frustrating incident are very scary such as an increase in the number of illegal stocks. In this case, increasing the monitoring from the upper echelons of the government and the control system can be maintained through law enforcement and, if necessary, intelligence activities.
At the same time, it is advisable for the government to take strong steps to address the root causes of the unrestrained rise in oil prices. Then, think of ways to reduce the rising cost of living by taking appropriate action against market syndicates.
It is important to keep in mind that it is important to raise public awareness in order to overcome the crisis, because the people can be said to be 100% victims or aware of the irregularities and corruption in the market. Even if the government is not informed, it is never possible for the government alone to resolve the issue.
The current soyabean oil market is dominated by a handful of companies. As a result, it is not difficult for the government to control the market. Why did the government still fail?
According to the Department of Consumer Protection, the country's annual demand for edible oil is 2 million metric tons. The demand for this is about one lakh fifty thousand tons a month. Mill owners say they are supplying on demand. On the other hand, the comments of wholesalers and dealers are different. So who or what is responsible for this situation?
After all, the scandal over oil should be stopped soon. It is time to unmask the profiteering traders behind the destabilization of the market by creating an artificial crisis. It is important for the people concernedto take the initiative in this regard so that the prime actor of the play does not remain behind the scenes as always. Otherwise, it will not take long for us to face Sri Lanka and Greece like situation.
Md Maruf Mozumder, Student, Department of Political Science. University of Chittagong