Common people, especially the low, middle and fixed-income groups have been hit hard by the price spiral of the essential commodities.
The prices of onion, rice, ginger, potato, lentil, chicken and vegetables marked a steep hike this week, putting more pressure on the wallets of the consumers.Taking advantage of the recent flood and coronavirus pandemic, some unscrupulous traders hiked the prices of most essential items to make extra profits, many consumers have alleged.
Experts blamed a lack of market monitoring and surveillance for the price spiral. Prices of different essentials have jumped up by 5-72 per cent from the prices of last month, according to data compiled by state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Golam Rahman, Chairman of Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB), said most of the people have been struggling with a drop in income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now the price spiral of essential commodities has intensified the miseries of the low-income people.
Price of local onion has increased by 60 per cent in a month and 20 per cent in a week while the price of imported onion has increased by 72.73 per cent in a month and 11.76 per cent in a week, according to TCB data.
TCB recorded 5.36 per cent hike in the price of fine rice, 8.51 per cent hike in the price of medium-quality rice, 5.88 per cent hike in coarse rice price, 3.03 per cent hike in loose soybean oil price, 5.93 per cent hike in loose palm oil price, 9.52 per cent hike in lentil price, 13.64 per cent hike in moong dal price, 22.22 per cent hike in local garlic price, 5.41 per cent hike in imported turmeric price, 29.41 per cent hike in imported ginger price, 6.06 per cent hike in cumin price, 10 per cent in cinnamon price, 4.43 per cent hike in clove price, 5.26 per cent hike in rohu fish price, 8.89 per cent hike in broiler chicken price and 11.76 per cent hike in local chicken price in a month.However, vegetable prices started to decline in the kitchen markets as the early variety of winter vegetables appeared in the market.
While visiting the Mohammadpur Krishi market on Friday, green chilli was found to be selling at Tk 200 per kg. Tomato was selling at Tk 100-120 per kg from Tk 120-140 per a week earlier and carrot price remained unchanged at Tk 80-100 per kg.
Eggplant price remained unchanged at Tk 70-80 per kg, bitter gourd was selling at Tk 70-80 per kg from Tk 70-80 a week earlier and string bean was selling at Tk 60-80 per kg from Tk 70-80 per kg a week ago.
Pointed gourd was selling at Tk 40-50 per kg from Tk 50-60 per kg a week ago and spiny gourd was selling at Tk 40-50 per kg from Tk 50-60 a week earlier.