All publications of Atiqul islam Shakil . Dhaka , Bangladesh
• There is a word goes “A stich in time saves nine”. The current festival surrounding scenario is in need of these proverb. Not joking it's high time to take some initiative to prevent those atrocities that occurred during the festival times in our country. Our country is full of culture and it's netizens are always very sincere to observe their festivals. Festival like Two Eid namely Eid ul fitor and Eid ul azha for the Muslim and Durga puja for the Hindu. There is a evil practice that carried on by our business mans and the owner of the public transport. All the year they remain in the dark and during these seasons of festival they come out like a crouching tiger. A crouching tiger will be a compliment for them but none the less they are the most wicked person in our society in that time. The business man hoard the daily commodities and during the festival like Eid ul fitor and Eid ul azha they create a havoc in the market. The price goes sky-high and out of reach. This tendency is practised i think from the dawn of our sub continental mentality. Now what their excuse they said all the year its going below their expectations and they use the festivals to gain their profit. Lame excuse? Yes. Cause if they use this time they can't increase the price two times or three times over a single night. Yes. The rich can afford this price hike. But irony for the middle, lower middle and people who live below the poverty line. By doing some interviews I learned Its not a festival for them rather a curse. With the increased price they can't afford their normal life let alone the festival. Yes, the government always create some Bazar monitoring cell but it's not working to its greater extent. If we see in the other countries in festivals the companies give their biggest discount in anything. In India there is Diwali big sale offer, In America black Friday,holloween discount, In Saudi Arabia in hazz time the wide open their stores to take anything for free, In China there is new year festival discounts and many more. So when the companies in other countries give those discounts our country’s dishonest business man want to make their biggest profit by looting people of very limited income. I know giving the commodities in a very lower price will be a luxury for the country like ours but at least they can resist their urge to increase the price two or three time higher. Regarding this matter We have an ancient Essential Commodities Act, 1957.The government can make any Order to regulate and control the price, supply, distribution of essential commodities. Section 3 read with section 6 of the Act provides a penalty if any Order is flouted or anything is done in contravention to this Act. But the irony is the law provides are old, vague and tiresome at times.
IF we take a peek to The consumer rights protection Act, 2009,It makes punishable the following acts-
1. Selling or offering for sale at a price higher than the price prescribed by any law or rule, any product, medicine or service.
2. Knowingly selling or offering to sell any adulterer product or medicine.
3. Not to sell any product as the expected price range.
4. To use any false weight or false measure .
5. To give fewer products at the time of selling.
Who can file a complaint?
Any consumers, the organization working for consumers rights, authorised government officers or any concerned wholesaler or retailer.
How to file a complaint?
A complaint needs to be in writing, but it can also be made over the phone or through email. A complaint should never forget to give the necessary details and address that needed.
• Now we will move to the another issue with the festivals. The extra fair taken by the bus and other transport. We want to basically talk about the bus price hike. I have the experience of it and also take some interviews. During two Eid the bus owners make the ticket price 2 or 3 times higher. For example Chittagong to Cumilla normal time bus fare is 180-200. But during Eid it rises up to 250-300 taka. A/C bus price are higher than ordinary expectations. There is two distinguished bus service for travelling from Chittagong to Noakhali. Their price range is 280. But during Eid it rises up to 500-700 taka. The atrocities shown by the bus operators are quite unbearable. Once I was brutally replied when I asked them about this illegal price hiking. The normal people can't afford it but they have to go to their desired place by any means so they always fancy themselves to buy the ticket. This exodus towards their own home is the turf for illegal gain for the bus owners. When we asked them about this price hike they replied these instances which leads to increase of ticket price. First of all like the price hike in daily commodities they took the advantage in their words they said it seasonal gain. Secondly, during Eid there is a tendancy of taking bribe by the traffic police and other authorities. It is common during normal time but taking bribe increases during the Eid times. So, is there any laws to prevent it. Regrettably we didn't have any proper code to stop this atrocities by the bus owners. But the mobile court is trying very hard to get these under control. Our road and transport minister also quite vibrant about these matter and take some serious action against the people behind it. So hopefully in the near future we can be appease by getting some defining laws addressing this issue.
Both the issue I discussed is very alarming and worth to be noticed. Because the businesses man, retailers and the transport agency became very tyrant about this issue. Their grudge for taking up all the cash became a nightmare for the normal people . Moreover now it is very frightening to walk in the market. On the other hand giving the bus price 2 or 3 times higher we can't ensure a safe journey to our destinations. So it is high time the government and other authorities should take some initiatives and stop these atrocities once and for all.
Title: price hike: An unholy alliance to degrade our humanity.
Written by: Atiqul islam shakil, University of Chittagong, Department of law, 4 th year.