Bangladesh Competition Commission has sued 44 companies producing and distributing essential commodities on charges of destabilising the market by raising prices abnormally.
The commission filed the cases recently after finding evidence of raising prices and some other charges against the firms supplying rice, cooking oil, soap, flour, egg and chicken.
Md Mofizul Islam, chairperson of the commission, said on Thursday the cases will be disposed of after hearing as per the rules.
Officials said the hearing of some cases will be held on Sept 26. They did not reveal the names of the companies.
The commission has the authority to register cases at production, supply, retail or consumer levels, or file cases on its own in line with the law.
Commodity prices have increased rapidly across the globe due to the Russia-Ukraine war amid heightened demand during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
In Bangladesh, the prices of rice, soybean oil, sugar, cosmetics and toiletries, egg, chicken and other commodities have increased, prompting the authorities to check whether the companies raised the prices for proper reasons.
The Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection found irregularities leading to price hikes of some products. It held meetings with representatives of the companies and merchants.
The commission looked into the irregularities spotted by the directorate and reports of market manipulation before filing the cases.
An official of the commission said most of the cases were filed against businesses involved in rice trade, including 11 big organisations and eight corporate firms.
The others include eight involved in flour production and supply, six in egg production, six in broiler chicken production and marketing, and six in the production and marketing of soap and detergent.