People, especially those with low, middle and fixed incomes, are suffering a lot as prices of essential commodities continued to soar across the country, including the capital, ahead of Ramadan.
Apart from the daily essentials, the demand for certain commodities like brinjal, sugar, meat and different kinds of vegetables has gone up ahead of the fasting month.Taking the opportunity, some unscrupulous traders have hiked the prices of most of the essentials.
Lack of market monitoring and surveillance by the government against the wholesale market manipulators is also responsible for the price hike, experts said.
Pointed gourd, brinjal, bean, lemon, sponge gourd, okra, yardlong bean, gourd, drumstick and tomato have been selling at higher prices.
Most of the vegetables were selling at Tk 50 per kg on average which was Tk 20-30 a week ago.
The fine rice was selling for Tk 60-68 per kg like previous week while medium quality variety at 55-58 per kg against Tk 54-56 a week earlier and the coarse rice was selling for Tk 45-48 per kg which was Tk 44-47 per kg last week.
Prices of chicken, beef and mutton have also gone up in the capital.Ghulam Rahman, chairman of Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB), said some greedy businessmen have been manipulating the prices of most essential commodities for lack of surveillance in the market when there is a high demand for those items.
He said buying in bulk needlessly ahead of Ramadan increases the demand and prices of commodities. “So, consumers have also a role in keeping the prices at a tolerable level,” he said, adding that low-and-fixed-income people are facing further hardship due to the price spiral.
Venting his anger, Abdul Matin, a private service holder, said the government is doing little although the prices of all the essential commodities continued to rise.
He said he bought a broiler chicken from Malibagh Kitchen Market at Tk 165 per kg which was Tk 120 only a month ago.
Matin demanded that the government increase its surveillance to arrest the spiraling commodity prices.
Visiting Mohammdapur Krishi Market, it was seen that broiler chicken was selling at Tk 160-165 per kg while Sonali one for Tk 280-300 a kg and the local variety at Tk 420-500 each kg.
The price of local ginger has increased by 17.65 per cent while that of imported one by 10.53 per cent in a week. They are now selling at Tk 80-120 and Tk 70-140 per kg respectively, according to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
The price of anchor dal has seen a 8.43 per cent hike in a week and it was selling at Tk 40-50 per kg while sugar got costlier by 2.22 per cent to Tk 68-70 per kg.
However, the early summer drumstick was selling at Tk 100 per kg at the market, down by Tk 100 per kg than last week.
Lemon was selling for Tk 60-80 per four pieces while it was Tk 40-50 a week earlier, pointed gourd at Tk 50-60 per kg, yardlong bean at Tk 60-70 per kg and okra at Tk 50-60 a kg.
Brinjal was selling for Tk 40-60 per kg against last week’s Tk 30-40, medium size gourd cost Tk 50-60 per piece while it was 40-50 a week ago, cauliflower and cabbage were selling at Tk 30-50 per piece against Tk 20-30 prior week and bean was selling for Tk 40-50 per kg while it was Tk 30-40 per kg a week earlier.
Each kg of cucumber cost a consumer Tk 40-50 like previous week while tomato was selling at Tk 20-30 per kg to Tk 15-20 a week back.
Saiful Islam, a vegetable trader at the market, said the prices of vegetables have started to increase following a fall in supply with the departure of winter.
He also said the vegetable prices will see a further hike.