Chhaya Sangsad Debate Competition program on food price hike and global situation

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Daily Present Times

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Eati Akter

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Today, September 11, 2023, Monday at 10:00 am, a shadow parliamentary debate competition was held at Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) in Tejgaon of the capital on food price rise and global situation. The competition was organized by National Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection and Debate for Democracy. President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Industries (FBCCI) Mr. Mahbubul Alam spoke as the chief guest on the occasion. Director General (Additional Secretary) of National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate Mr. A. was present as a special guest. H. M. Safikuzzaman. Mr. Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiran, chairman of Debate for Democracy, presided over the debate competition.

Also present on the occasion were the Deputy Directors of the Directorate Head Office, Assistant Directors of the Head Office, Dhaka Divisional Office and Dhaka District Office along with teachers and students of Bangladesh Textile University and Comilla Victoria Government College and journalists of print and electronic media. In the speech of the chief guest, the President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Industries (FBCCI) Mr. Mahbubul Alam thanked the National Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection and Debate for Democracy for organizing the debate competition on the protection of consumer rights. He also thanked the teachers and students of Bangladesh Textile University and Comilla Victoria Government College and all those present including journalists from print and electronic media. He praised the overall activities of the department and said, I am overwhelmed by hearing the speeches of the debaters of both parties.

He said that FBCCI will always stand by any honest trader and FBCCI will never do any advocacy for dishonest traders. Action will be taken against those who create artificial crisis if the allegations are proved. We will take a strong stand against the institutions involved in creating product crisis and market volatility, no matter how big and influential they are. It is possible to keep product prices under control if the supply chain is in tune with demand and supply.

He concluded his speech by expressing optimism that the consumer will be aware and the rights of the consumer will be protected through the debate competition and other public awareness activities undertaken by the Directorate. As a special guest, the director general of the directorate at the beginning of his speech thanked the chief guest of the program for giving time to the program despite the busy schedule, Debate for Democracy for organizing the debate competition and all those present in the program including print and electronic media journalists for their spontaneous participation. He was overwhelmed by the speech of the debaters participating in the debate competition and said, We enjoyed a wonderful and lively debate competition and in my opinion both the teams won the debate competition today.

He said, we are working to ensure consumer rights. Apart from us, other agencies of the government are also working. In addition to other government agencies, other private institutions/organizations especially the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Industries (FBCCI) are significantly cooperating in our work. Businessmen have brought our country to where it is today. Private sector has a major contribution to the overall GDP of our country. The National Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection will extend full cooperation to honest traders. He said that the Directorate is working on challenges to protect consumer rights. Consumer awareness is needed to meet this challenge. Consumer rights cannot be protected until consumers are aware of their rights. He further said that the debating competition will evaluate the work of the department and criticize it in specific areas. We welcome criticism from the Directorate as criticism reveals weaknesses in the work and creates opportunities to strengthen the Directorate by addressing these weaknesses. The Director General highlighted the nature of anti-consumer rights acts in the present society and apprised everyone about the activities taken by the Directorate to prevent them. The director general said, we are constantly working to protect consumer rights, but to be successful in this field, consumer awareness is necessary. This debate competition is organized as part of this awareness.

He said, we are working to ensure consumer rights. Apart from us, other agencies of the government are also working. In addition to other government agencies, other private institutions/organizations especially the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Industries (FBCCI) are significantly cooperating in our work. Businessmen have brought our country to where it is today. Private sector has a major contribution to the overall GDP of our country. The National Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection will extend full cooperation to honest traders. He said that the Directorate is working on challenges to protect consumer rights. Consumer awareness is needed to meet this challenge. Consumer rights cannot be protected until consumers are aware of their rights. He further said that the debating competition will evaluate the work of the department and criticize it in specific areas. We welcome criticism from the Directorate as criticism reveals weaknesses in the work and creates opportunities to strengthen the Directorate by addressing these weaknesses. The Director General highlighted the nature of anti-consumer rights acts in the present society and apprised everyone about the activities taken by the Directorate to prevent them. The director general said, we are constantly working to protect consumer rights, but to be successful in this field, consumer awareness is necessary. This debate competition is organized as part of this awareness.

He also said that the government is marginal in the country imposes import ban on certain products from time to time considering the interest of farmers and farmers and withdraws the import ban on all those products considering the interest of consumers. The government adopts the policy considering the overall situation of the market system of the country. He said that in order to keep the price of daily essential products especially soybean oil and sugar (which is fixed by the Ministry of Commerce) stable and supply normal, the department under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce is in the process of creating an app to know the stock situation of oil and sugar from the refinery to the distributor level. This will make it easier to identify the illegal stock of these products and take legal action by the department against the dishonest traders involved. He further said that media is the mirror of our society and with the welfare of media our activities are reaching the consumers very easily and quickly. He thanked the journalists of print and electronic media for this.

He hoped for the concerted cooperation of all to transform the National Directorate of Consumer Protection into a consumer-friendly and business-friendly institution.

In the speech of the President, Mr. Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiran said, 12/13 organizations including the Ministry of Commerce, National Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection, BSTI, Bangladesh Safe Food Authority, City Corporation, law enforcement forces are monitoring the market. But it is not possible to control the market price only by conducting raids or by jail fines. It is not always possible to keep the market stable due to various reasons including increase in the price of goods in the world market, global economy, Russia-Ukraine war, dollar crisis and control of import of goods. Markets are not regulated due to fluctuations in demand and supply. On the other hand, unscrupulous traders, hoarders, black market, weakness of supply chain, uncontrolled transport fares are among the reasons for the increase in commodity prices. We are not against real traders in any way. They come to the market with huge capital. As there is profit so is risk. Therefore, the government should make the VAT-tax regime bearable and provide opportunities for investors to conduct their business.

Today, Bangladesh Textile University as the official party and Comilla Victoria Government College as the opposition party debated the positions against the issue in the shadow parliamentary debate titled “Current global situation is mainly responsible for the rise in food prices”.

The judge in the competition was Professor Abu Muhammad Rais, journalist Dr. Shakila Jasmine, journalist Arifur Rahman, journalist Sushant Sinha and journalist Md. Sharful Alam. “The current global situation is mainly responsible for the increase in the price of food products” headline Chaya Parliament, the party against the issue as the opposition party Comilla Victoria Government College, the party in favor of the issue as the government team defeated the Bangladesh Textile University and won today’s debate competition.

Trophies and certificates were awarded to the winning teams at the end of the competition.

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