Prof. Abu Ahmed, Dept of Economics, University of Dhaka:
The government could investigate the reason behind the low prices of rawhide this year. They could find out whether it was the tannery owners forming their own syndicate and using blackmail to get what they want. They could also investigate the legality of this and prosecute accordingly. There is a competition commission, but it doesn’t function. This government body is supposed to regulate monopolies and syndicates, yet we do not see it in action. If this commission remains idle, how can we know whether businessmen are forming syndicates or not?
There is always a certain amount of risk involved in business. Products will either increase or decrease. The same stands for rawhide. It is being alleged that banks are not giving money. But my question is why would banks give money to loan defaulters? Banks have already loaned a few hundred crore taka. If the rawhide business is so profitable then why not stockpile all the rawhide?
No one probably supported those who took risks. I don’t think there is any system in place to break the syndicates. Has the government even investigated the existence of these syndicates? Banks have already given out loans to those who need them. Banks like to do business, and loans are a kind of business.
Based on an interview by Ashiq Rahman, translated by Abrar Hussain
Nayeemul Islam khan
1327 Tejgaon Industrial Area (3rd Floor), Dhaka-1208