KUSHTIA: Consumer inflation is a worldwide phenomenon. But when prices of essential commodities rise during an economic downturn, it tends to erode the purchasing power of ordinary people.
Take for instance, the situation in Kushtia, where residents are forced to contend with a sudden spike in prices of essential items like sugar, flour, edible oil and pulses, against the backdrop of the corona-induced recession, reports UNB.
A recent reality check by the correspondent at Kushtia Municipality Bazar and Boro Bazar revealed that traders have been selling soybean oil for Tk 136 a kg, a five percent hike over a week.
Similarly, a kg of sugar was being sold for Tk 80, a flat Tk 10 hike in a week. Not only soybean oil and sugar, flour and pulses have also seen a price hike over a period of just seven days—both the items now cost Tk 6 more than their earlier retail rates.
“How are we going to survive if the government doesn’t take necessary steps to control the prices of essential items?” said a local resident.
Traders, on the other hand, pleaded helplessness. “We are buying the essential items at inflated rates. How do you expect us to sell the same without making a small profit? Don’t blame us for the price rise, which is the easiest thing to do,” said a trader at Boro Bazar.
When contacted, Rabiul Islam, an official of the Market Monitoring Control, insisted that they do keep a tab on the prices of essential items and vegetables on a regular basis. “We will probe if any syndicate is involved in the price hike amid corona and take stern action.”