KHULNA: The price hike of daily essentials has put the people in Khulna district, especially low-income families, under pressure ahead of Ramadan, the holy month that will begin from Friday.
Prices of essential commodities including pulses, chickpea, puffed rice, flattened rice, edible oil, sugar, onion, garlic, potato, dates, fruits and other items used for iftar have already seen a rise, but some traders say the market is “normal” compared to the previous year.
Low-income people are worried about meeting their daily needs.
During a recent visit to markets in Khulna city, including Moilapota, Dakbungalow, New Market, Chitrali and Doulatpur areas, UNB’s correspondent noted sky-rocketing price of dates, an item generally consumed during iftar, is forcing many to buy in far less amount compared to previous years.
One kg of Ambar dates is being sold at Tk 1500 while the price of one kg Ajwa dates is Tk 1000, Mariam dates is Tk 900, Sukkari dates is Tk 750, Medjool (big) dates is Tk 1300.
Unripe dates are being sold at Tk 500 per kg.
Besides, one kg of green apple is being sold at Tk 320-350, Fuji apple Tk 260-300 per kg, pomegranate Tk 350-400 per kg, orange Tk 220 per kg and malta at 220 per kg.
Meanwhile, five litres of edible oil is being sold at Tk 900, two litres of edible oil is being sold at Tk 370, one kg of local pulses is being sold at Tk 140, chickpeas Tk 85, sugar Tk 115, potato Tk 25, chickpea powder Tk 110, puffed rice half kg packets being sold at Tk 70, flattened rice Tk 60-65, onion Tk 35, and garlic Tk 100 per kg.
Mainul Islam, who works at a private company, said, “Prices of daily essentials are usually hiked before Ramadan begins, but this year the situation is unbearable. One kg of chicken is being sold at Tk 250 while beef at Tk 700. How can I meet the daily needs of my family with my salary that hasn’t gone up to match these prices?”
Prices of vegetables have also increased. None was below Tk 50-60 per kg, he said.
Mamun, a roadside vendor, said, “Every year, my family and I fast during Ramadan. This year, it’ll be difficult for us to have meat with rice.”
Meanwhile, price of bananas — that are eaten during iftar and sehri — has also gone up. One dozen medium sized bananas are being sold at Tk 80-120 while large bananas are being sold at Tk 140-150 per dozen.
Recently, the government asked deputy commissioners to monitor markets strictly during the month of Ramadan and take legal measures if necessary.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked all to be vigilant against the hoarding of foods and the black-marketing of these commodities during the holy month.