Monday 27, June 2022

The oily issue and our ministers

News Desk: Commerce minister Tipu Munshi stated that his big mistake was to trust oil traders around Eid on hoarding and price-fixing was hilarious and scary at the same time. It showed anything can be done and blamed on the upbringing.

In the West, rapists do it commonly and even murderers do so blaming childhood trauma for their crimes committed later on. Our minister is not in the same sector but to say he trusted the traders who have a long history of economic crimes is extreme naiveté. That he was taught to trust others as a child hence the edible oil crisis could be stated and got away with only in Bangladesh where ministers matter less and less.

When he said that he had learnt to trust all and he found that the traders hadn’t kept their word on not hoarding and price-fixing, he was admitting failure. What he is saying is that he didn’t know that they never planned to keep their word. And that’s the whole point. His job is not to trust but make sure disasters don’t happen whatever be their childhood trauma.

Thus like many who refuse to take responsibility for their acts he did nothing either. His prime role is to protect the interest of the consumer and not show nostalgia for his past. In the end, it sounded like the fault was not his but that of the hoarders only and perhaps his simple minded pious parents

The Minister being a hugely successful businessman himself should know how things happen in Bangladesh and act accordingly. At least this excuse doesn’t work as one in this case. The accusation against the business community has gone against himself. And as a result, the AL regime is being blamed as a party to the edible oil crisis.

What the Railway and the Commerce Ministry incidents have done is expose the level of commitment and competence the Ministers may have. Both came out looking poorer showing low levels of judgment. It will not go much against them as it really doesn’t matter who they are and what they do. But it will affect the regime and its leadership. Things can be done better and should have been than these rather shoddy displays of performance and even greater displays of creative excuses for not doing their jobs properly.


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