Rice prices increased further in the retail markets across the country, triggering worries for general people, particularly the people belonging to low and fixed income groups.
All varieties of rice are now being sold at prices much higher than those of the same period of last year, market analysts said.While visiting different markets in the capital on Wednesday this correspondent witnessed that prices of certain varieties of rice had gone up by Tk 2 to 3 per kg.
The hike is 25 percent than that of the same day of last year’s rates, according to a data of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Prices of fine quality Miniket and Najirshail increased by Tk 2-3 per kg in comparison with those of last two weeks and were selling at Tk 65 and Tk 68 per kg respectively.
Prices of medium quality of BRRIdhan-28, Paijam, Lota and Parija increased by Tk 2 per kg. They were sold at between Tk 52 and 56 per kg on Wednesday.
Price of coarse rice soared by Tk 1.5 a kg and it was sold at city kitchen markets at Tk 44 per kg on Wednesday.
Naogaon Rice Wholesalers Association president Nirod Baran Saha, who is in rice business since 1978, told the daily sun that the country’s rice market depends on the import price.“Prices of Miniket and coarse rice Shorna soared in Indian markets resulting in an increase in their prices in Bangladesh,” he said.
He also said that it is the ending time of local Miniket rice. Rice price will become stable soon after harvesting of Boro paddy sometime in April.
When asked about the claim of a few traders that higher truck fare is behind hike in rice price, the businessman said: “It’s not a valid reason as the fare increased by Tk 1000 per truck. But a truck can carry 15,000 kg of rice. So, rice price might increase by Tk 0.066 per kg, not an increase by Tk 2-3 per kg.”
Rice prices registered an upward trend in the last few months although the government took different initiatives to bring prices of the staple food stable. Although rice price decreased a bit in January, but it again started soaring since the first week of February.
The price-hike has added to the hardship of low-income people who are already burdened with soaring prices of essentials,” said Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan, the secretary of the Consumers’ Association of Bangladesh (CAB).
He blamed on a section of businessmen for the volatile rice market although the country has enough stock of it.