Traders and wholesalers have raised the prices of essential commodities abnormally due to lax monitoring by the authorities concerned, putting low-income people in serious financial difficulty.
According to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh data, prices of different essentials have jumped up by 1.12–20 percent in a week.
Market analysts blamed lax monitoring, surveillance, and an unholy nexus of businesses for the price spiral.
Poor and low-income people in urban and rural areas are facing a dire situation due to the abnormal price hike of essential commodities, said farm economist professor ASM Golam Hafiz.
"Many fixed-income families have already cut or dropped fish, eggs, meat, and vegetables from their menus to manage the expenses," he said.
Prices of rice, flour, soybean oil, palm oil, sugar, lentils, onions, garlic, dry chili, chicken, eggs, fish, and vegetables have seen an abnormal hike.
The price of fine quality rice has increased by 3.57 percent in a week and was sold at Tk 65-80 per kg, medium quality rice increased by 2.78 percent in a week and was sold at Tk 53-58 per kg and coarse rice increased by 3.92 percent in a week and was sold at Tk 52-54 per kg on Wednesday, according to TCB.
While visiting Mohammdpur Krishi Market on Thursday, it was seen that the price of most of the rice varieties had increased by Tk 2 to 5 per kg in a week.
During a visit to Mohammdpur wholesale Krishi Market on August 6, a wholesale rice trader, Mainul Hossain of Cumilla Rice Agency, attributed the cost of transport to an increase of Tk 20-30 per sack (50kg) due to the fuel price hike.
Another wholesaler, Saiful Islam , said that the transport cost of potatoes, ginger, onions, and garlic has increased Tk 0.50 per kg due to the fuel price hike.
However, the price of essential food items increased indiscriminately soon after the price hike of fuel.
Many consumers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the latest increase in commodity prices, which has increased the cost of living. They said this while talking to the daily sun.
Sahidul Islam, a private company employee, said, "I could not meet my monthly expenses for the last two months due to higher commodity prices. Now the recent hike will force me to send my family members to the village home."
"The cost of living has soared manyfold in the capital city. It’s now homeowners’ time. They tend to raise house rents soon after a fuel tariff hike," he said.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Wednesday that unscrupulous traders are using the price hike of fuel as an excuse to increase the prices of daily essentials.
"Rice prices should have increased by Tk 0.50 per kg due to the fuel price hike, but they have increased by Tk 4 per kg," he said.