The inaction of government agencies behind the price spiral: HC

If government mechanisms such as regulators and watchdogs were active, hoarders wouldn’t have the guts to hoard essentials to pocket extra profits, the High Court says over the steep price hikes.

Such comments came during the hearing on a motion for writ before the High Court bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Maniruzzaman on Monday, at a time when prices for most commodities, especially daily necessities, marked strong increases.

“Laws, regulations and organizations, everything is there, but there is no enforcement of these. If the machinery is activated, the hoarders will not have courage. It requires an effective initiative”, says the court.

The petition in brief was filed to request relevant government bodies to form a monitoring cell and formulate policies to control the runaway price of soybean oil in the market.

Deputy Attorney General Pratikar Changma, who appeared for the state, argued that it would not be fair for the court to issue a rule following the motion for the order because the government has already taken some initiatives to control the market. .

The court asked state counsel to show how he defined anticompetitive alliances. The law was signed into law in 2012, but there is no enforcement yet, the court said.

In response, the state’s attorney said, “The government is taking action. The government is active and the market is already under control.

In this perspective, the court, addressing the state attorney, said: “The competition law suggests the closing down of monopolistic companies. However, the government does not formulate any rules to implement the suggestion. Unfortunately, the law is not enforced This has happened all the time If you were strict the market couldn’t be so rampant.

The court also believes that if the government side took action in advance, the people would not have to suffer. “It’s because the monopoly business has been held hostage by a particular group,” he says.

However, he recalls, the law suggests the formation of a regulatory body to stop this. “If there was a regulatory body, claimants might not have to go to court. We want that body to be formed,” the court said, pointing to the free play of certain commercial oligopolies.

Mr. Changma said: “An initiative is underway to form a regulatory body to control the market. The government is working. The government is taking steps so that no one can control the monopoly of the market. The government has taken the initiative to form a task force to control the market.”

After completing the hearing, the High Court on Tuesday set further proceedings on the petition.

Earlier on March 6, three Supreme Court lawyers – Monir Hossain, Syed Mohidul Kabir and Mohammad Ullah – filed a petition seeking direction from the HC to form a watchdog cell and formulate oil price control policies. of soy.

They submitted the petition as public interest litigation based on a published report on the recent soybean oil price hike.

On March 3, the three lawyers brought the report to the attention of the High Court bench for its direction on the matter. Then the court asked them to file a motion for an order and accordingly the attorneys filed the motion for an order.

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