Dhaka, Aug. 30 -- Tipu Munshi has said he did not have a word with the prime minister about steps against price gouging after she said she would look into allegations that syndicates are sharply increasing prices.

The commerce minister had faced intense criticism in parliament in June for his comments that breaking up the syndicates of dishonest traders may "create a sudden crisis, one that will be difficult for us to deal with".

Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque also conceded that it was "very difficult" to break up syndicates of traders behind price-gouging of commodities such as onions, eggs and chicken.

After journalists asked Sheikh Hasina for her comments on the matter at a press briefing on Tuesday, the prime minister said she...