The prices of sugar, onion, garlic and vegetables went up in the city’s kitchen markets over the week ending Friday despite recent calls from the government to the businesspeople for not increasing the prices of essential commodities.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on April 3 called upon the business community not to raise the prices of essential commodities including sugar and edible oil during the upcoming Ramadan, the fasting month for Muslims.
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi on a number of occasions said that there was sufficient stock of essential commodities in the country and there was no reason for a rise in the prices of the items.
Retailers said that wholesalers increased the prices of sugar by Tk 100-150 a bag (50 kilograms) in last 5-6 days.
Experts said that the government should take proper measures to keep the commodity prices stable during the month of Ramadan that will begin in the second week of May.
Consumers, however, said that before every Ramadan the government assured them that the stock of essentials was sufficient enough to keep the market stable but traders increased the prices.
The price of sugar increased by Tk 2-5 a kg and the refined and imported sugar was selling for Tk 52-55 a kg, while the locally produced sugar was selling for Tk 70-72 a kg in most of the Dhaka city markets on Friday.
The prices of onions rose by Tk 2-3 a kg and the imported onions were retailing at Tk 23-28 a kg while its local variety was selling for Tk 25-30 a kg.
The price of garlic imported from China increased by Tk 10 a kg and it was retailing at Tk 110-120 a kg while its local variety was selling for Tk 60-70 a kg.
Garlic imported from India was selling for Tk 80-90 a kg.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh president Ghulam Rahman said that the government could predict the prices of essential commodities based on their stock and international prices but it (the government) could not set the selling prices of the items for the traders.
He said that the government should be watchful so that no quarter could create an artificial crisis of essential commodities at the market.
Ghulam Rahman urged the government to take effective measures to prevent unnecessary hike in prices of commodities like sugar and onions.
Vegetable prices remained high and most of the items were selling at the prices ranging from Tk 60 a kg to Tk 80 a kg.
Aubergine was selling for Tk 40-60 a kg, bitter gourds for Tk 80 a kg, bottle gourds for Tk 60 apiece, okra for Tk 60-80 a kg, papaya for Tk 40 a kg, cucumber for Tk 40-60 a kg and tomatoes for Tk 30 a kg.
The price of green chilli remained unchanged and the item was selling for Tk 60-80 a kg on Friday.
The price of broiler chicken remained high over the week and the item was selling for Tk 165-170 a kg in the city markets and locally bred hens were selling for Tk 380-450 a kg.
Beef price remained high and it was selling for Tk 530-550 a kg on Friday in the city markets. Mutton was selling for Tk 750-800 a kg.
A one-litre container of soya bean oil was selling for Tk 100-105 and a five-litre container for Tk 490-515.
Unpacked soya bean oil was selling for Tk 90-95 a kg, while palm oil was retailing at Tk 80 a kg.
The coarse variety of imported red lentil was selling for Tk 70-75 a kg while the fine variety was selling for Tk 100-110 a kg.
The price of potatoes remained stable and the item was selling for Tk 15-18 a kg in the city’s kitchen markets.
The price of eggs remained unchanged and the item was selling for Tk 32-34 a hali (four pieces) on Friday.
The prices of fish remained unchanged over the week. Rohita was selling for Tk 250-350 a kg and Katla for Tk 200-350 a kg, depending on their size and quality on Friday. Pangas was selling for Tk 130-170 a kg and Tilapia for Tk 140-180 a kg.
Ginger prices remained unchanged and its local variety was selling for Tk 90-100 a kg and the
imported variety for Tk 120-140 a kg.
Fine-quality packaged salt was selling for Tk 38 a kg, while the refined variety of salt was retailing at Tk 25 a kg.
The prices of rice remained unchanged over the week.
The coarse variety of rice was selling for Tk 38-40 a kg while BR-28 rice was retailing at Tk 44-50 a kg in the city markets on Friday.
The fine variety of Miniket rice was selling for Tk 58-63 a kg while its coarse variety was retailing at Tk 52-55 a kg.
The fine variety of Najirshail rice was retailing at Tk 60-65 a kg and its standard variety at Tk 56-58 a kg.
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