Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi today said the government wants the e-commerce sector would run in the country in a more disciplined way shrugging off recent anomalies by some companies.
“The e-commerce sector gained a fast expansion in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic period beyond our expectations. Although some e-commerce companies have tempted common people in a big way, but the consumers should have remained more cautious,” he said.
Tipu also said, “We don’t want to keep aside our responsibilities. Rather we want that this e-commerce sector operates in a more disciplined way,”
The Minister said this while addressing a workshop as the chief guest on role of the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) towards creating fair competition environment in the market through implementation of the Competition Law held at the office of the Bangladesh Competition Commission in the Capital’s Eskaton area.
Presided over by the Chairperson of Bangladesh Competition Commission Md Mofizul Islam, its member Dr AFM Monjur Kadir gave the address of welcome while Commission member GM Saleh Uddin made a power-point presentation on the overall aspects of the Commission.
Commission member Nasrin Begum, ERF President Sharmeen Rinvy and general secretary SM Rashidul Islam also spoke while Commission adviser Barrister Mafruha Murphy made a power-point presentation.
Speaking on the occasion, Commerce Minister said, although the Commission is still nascent, but it is moving ahead with a specific goal. “It also needs more association with the concerned stakeholders to turn itself as a more proactive entity,”
Highlighting various attainments of the government over the last 13 years, Tipu said that the per capita income of Bangladesh has increased than the past while the purchasing power of people also witnessed an uptrend.
He said in line with this, some companies cheated with people adding that the media would have to play its due role in creating awareness among people so, that the common people are not cheated falling victims of gaining excessive profit.
Turning to the recent incidents of cheat by some e-commerce firms like Evaly, e-Orange, Tipu said that Evaly offered people of selling motorbikes of Taka 2.50 lakh at a surprisingly lower price of Taka 1.50 lakh, which was quite impossible.
He said such companies’ tempted people giving exciting offers in such way that it was tough to resist the people from being cheated.
Commerce Minister also noted that the promising e-commerce sector could not go backwards for the fault of some 10 to 15 companies.
He also sought cooperation of all stakeholders for enforcement of the concerned policy in this regard adding that the Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh Bank, and other concerned stakeholders would have to come forward to frame the necessary guidelines for this sector.
Tipu said that the assets of MLM companies like Jubok, Destiny have appreciated over the period and it is possible to compensate 50 to 60 percent of the losses of the affected clients of those companies if their assets are sold out. “But, the whole matter lies with the court,”
He said the Competition Commission is necessary to curb corruption adding that the Commission would have to look where fair competition is eroding. “They (Commission) will also have to aware people.”
Bangladesh Competition Commission Chairperson Md Mofizul Islam said that if there is fair competition in the market, then the economic growth would be accelerated while it would also become sustainable.
Answering to a question, he informed that they are competent enough to discharge their duties although they are not well-equipped now.
Mofizul said despite numerous challenges, they are trying to strengthen further the Commission through increasing manpower with the rolling out of new organogram.
He told another questioner that they filed a case against Evaly in November last year and had also stopped one of their Dhamaka offers to ensure fair competition in the market.
Formed in 2016, the full-fledged Bangladesh Competition Commission started its work from March 2020.