Industries minister admits 'syndicate' does exist in market after Tofail denial

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-12-02 23:08:10 BdST


Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun has acknowledged the existence of a syndicate in the market, a day after former commerce minister Tofail Ahmed dismissed the notion out of hand.

The issue of a 'syndicate' of businessmen manipulating the market has been the subject of much conjecture since the emergence of the onion crisis. Speculation is rife that a group of traders is making significant gains by exploiting the volatile kitchen market.

Responding to a reporter's question on the matter on Sunday, Tofail, the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Commerce, said, "There really is no such thing as a syndicate in the market."

"Businesspeople are friends of the government. The government wants to work hand in hand with them," added the senior Awami League leader. 

But speaking to the media at a programme organised by the Economic Reporters' Forum on Monday, Humayun said a vested interest group is still out to raise the price of goods in the country.

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"Businessmen have formed syndicates in different sectors in a bid to create an unsavoury situation by stirring up unrest in different markets. You (the media) must warn the government to these issues. Some of these issues are ongoing."

The minister urged traders not to cause suffering to the people by hiking the price of commodities and said: "We are trying to reduce interest rates for the benefit of the business community.

"The prime minister herself is backing these efforts. It's not right to do business by making life difficult for the public."