The National Consumers' Right Protection Directorate during drives has found big stores at Banani, Gulshan and other posh areas selling counterfeit consumer products, including powdered milk and cosmetics.
"These products do not have any name of the importers, their address, and even the MRP. These consumers items cannot be imported in luggage even dodging the customs, which means all of these products are counterfeit," Director General of National Consumers' Right Protection Directorate AHM Shafiquzzaman said on Sunday at a public hearing on the Consumers' Right Protection Act 2009.
He also said that in their drives they found some factories producing counterfeit consumer products.
"We have been receiving complaints concerning these products. I request the consumers not to use them," he said, adding no store can sell any imported consumer products without the name and address of the importer.
"We served notice on Titas gas company for not supplying adequate gas. Because consumers have been paying Tk1085 for gas which was Tk330. Still, it is not available, which is unacceptable," he said.
Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said that there are three provisions for taking action under the consumers' right law. There is provision to file both criminal and civil cases along with slapping fines during the drives in the markets. But it would require the permission of the DG to file a case. Criminal cases have to be filed for grave crimes," he added.
The secretary also said that the consumers' right directorate does not fix the commodity price; rather it conducts drives against adulteration and counterfeiting of the products.
"There is Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) as well as Bangladesh Food Safety Authority to see the standard of food products. If they act properly, the pressure on the directorate will decrease," he said.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) Jashim Uddin said that businesses are consumers too.
"We are united and do not favour any culprit. You should consider this too," he said.
Citing the example of Japan, he said that there is the provision of death sentence for adulteration.
"But we have been adulterating commodities. We are selling loose oil at higher prices. We want to be free from adulteration," said Jashim Uddin.