April 15, 2024, 2:58 pm

Staff Correspondent

2024-03-03 16:07:10 BdST

Clamp down on illegal hoarding of commodities during Ramadan: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday asked the field-level administration to take stern action against illegal hoarders of commodities and ensure a smooth supply of essential items to consumers during the upcoming month of Ramadan.

“During Ramadan, some businesses are there who always want to make extra profit by hoarding the essentials and raising their prices. But we have to pay special attention to it. It is now one of our immediate duties,” she said.

The prime minister made the directives while opening the Deputy Commissioner’s (DC) Conference-2024 at her office in the city.

Divisional Commissioners and deputy commissioners of districts joined the four-day conference, which will conclude on Wednesday.

“In the supply chain, problems are created or attempts are made to create an artificial crisis of commodities. Some hoarders are there who let goods rot but do not supply the goods to the market. It needs to take tough legal action in this regard,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina asked the field administration to pay special attention so that the essential goods could reach the people smoothly during the upcoming Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims.

She said though the inflation rate is still within 10% in Bangladesh, it is nonetheless a problem.

She directed the officials to intensify monitoring on the market situation and ensure the consumers will not be subjected to harassment.

The prime minister asked the field administration to take action against food adulteration, boost local production to reduce dependency on other countries, protect arable lands, raise public awareness for bringing larger people under the universal pension scheme, promote the formation of cooperatives for agricultural mechanisation to bring all lands under cultivation and maximise the return of cultivation, ensure smooth supply of produced goods to the market, to protect environment by saving everything like river, natural water reservoir and other water bodies, forest and hills.

She put emphasis on containing teenage gangs and addressing the reasons that lead them to engage in such anti-social activities, like snatching, robbery or killing.

She asked all including divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners, and guardians to intensify their monitoring of educational institutes up to the upazila and union-level so that the students cannot be engaged in militancy, terrorism, drugs or teenage gangs.

The prime minister asked the field administration to raise the engagement of students through the arrangement of a larger number of sports and cultural competitions in a bid to keep them away from different social diseases like drugs, terrorism, and militancy.

Noting that waste management has emerged as a big problem in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said this problem has turned acute everywhere.

“So, if we make plans in advance now for waste management in district, upazila and up to even union and ward level, the problem will not be seen in the future.”

She asked the commissioners to undertake a development project after considering what would be its return and how much it could benefit the people and the country, and how much the socio-economic condition of the locals would be improved.

In this regard, she asked the deputy commissioners to monitor the projects being implemented in their workplaces.

Mentioning that lands are taken for a project from deputy commissioners or divisional commissioners, she said, “If you give the lands and do others [for a project], why cannot you monitor it? Since you give lands, you have the right to watch the projects.”

The government will take reports from the DC about the condition, progress, and return of the projects and negative impacts on arable lands. “You will have to be accountable,” the prime minister said.

She thanked the deputy commissioners for doing the election duty successfully following the directives of the Election Commission during the 12th parliamentary polls held on 7 January. “This time the election has been the most free, fair, and neutral polls,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina asked the deputy commissioners to implement the promises announced in her party’s election manifesto and make development of the country, focusing on employment generation.

The subsequent programmes of the conference will be held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium, featuring a total of 30 sessions.

Cabinet Secretary Md Mahbub Hossain delivered the welcome speech.

Public Administration Minister Farhad Hossain, PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Dhaka Divisional Commissioner Md Sabirul Islam, Chattogram Deputy Commissioner Abul Bashar Mohammed Fakhruzzaman, and Gaibandha Deputy Commissioner Kazi Nahid Rasul spoke at the opening session.

This year, some 350 proposals have been put forth by the DCs and divisional commissioners for the DC Conference, a platform for top field-level administration officials.

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