Group formed to fight against edible oil price manipulation

The Bangladesh Competition Commission has formed a three-member committee to stamp out price manipulation practices for edible oils in the domestic market.

Some companies have recently been found to engage in anti-competitive activities when it comes to selling edible oil in order to make large profits, the commission said in a statement yesterday.

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The commission also sought information from the population on any anomalies in local edible oil prices.

However, the names of people who report anomalies such as price manipulation will not be released, according to the statement.

A section of dishonest businessmen are selling edible oil at much higher rates, in violation of government-set prices for the key cooking ingredient ahead of Ramadan.

Also, a portion of the unscrupulous traders are so desperate to make a profit that they sell bottled edible oil in multiple portions.

By taking advantage of the artificial crisis they create, traders are able to sell edible oil in bulk at higher prices.

They engage in this practice because the rates set by the government for bottled edible oil are printed on the product label.

As a result, low-income people have been put under pressure.

At different cooking markets in Dhaka yesterday, bottled soybean oil sold for between Tk 165-170 per litre, while it was the same last week, according to data from the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. (TCB).

Previously, the government set Tk 168 for each liter of bottled soybean oil.

Meanwhile, five liter canisters of soybean oil of various brands were selling for between Tk 790 and Tk 830 while a week ago it was between Tk 780 and 800.

The bulk palm oil price was between Tk 156 and 158 per litre, down from Tk 150 and 154 per liter a week earlier.

The palm oil super cost was between Tk 158 and 160 per liter while it was Tk 155 and 160 per liter a week ago, according to TCB data.