Govt to form new price-watch committee
Monday, 25 February 2008

Staff Correspondent

The government is set to form a high-level committee to monitor the prices of essential commodities in the face of spiralling consumer costs, an adviser said Sunday.

"We are anxious about the unstable condition of the market," commerce adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman told reporters in his office. "The government will take all necessary steps to maintain the prices of essentials at a tolerable level," said Zillur, who will head the new committee.

The adviser said price hikes on the international market would always impact the local market. "It is understandable (from an economic point of view) that prices may increase, but the rate should be rational, and the overall situation should be kept under control," the adviser said.

Zillur said the caretaker administration was currently importing rice from India as well as searching for alternative markets to alleviate the pressure on consumers.

The adviser said a list had been prepared identifying nine commodities, whose prices they hope to control. A meeting Monday between importers and related government agencies will attempt to identify reasons for price hikes, and chalk out strategies to tackle the problem, the adviser said.

The nine essentials identified on the list are: rice, pulses, edible oil, milk powder, sugar, salt, potatoes and onions.

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