Sugar shortage in the country is "artificial" and was caused by some traders allegedly hoarding supply to rake in profits, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said Saturday.
"There is enough supply of sugar for the demand that exists," the minister added while speaking at a meeting organised by the Rajshahi district administration and the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) at Circuit House Saturday.
"The current stock of sugar is good enough to meet our demand till next Ramadan. Also, we have told the commerce ministry to buy one lakh tonnes of sugar more," Humayun said.
Despite the government fixing the price of sugar at Tk102-108 per kg last week, retail prices Saturday remained near Tk115-120 per kg.
The gas crisis and difficulties in opening letters of credit (LCs) with banks were two of the factors that the Directorate of National Consumers Right Protection identified in October as contributing to the price hike and shortage of sugar.
The directorate conducted 103 drives around the country and penalised 278 traders Tk14.7 lakh in October, claiming that there was no shortage of raw sugar and that there were 375,000 tonnes of sugar in store.