The prices of most vegetables have doubled on the capital’s kitchen market compared to a week ago due to supply crunch, according to consumers.
At several kitchen markets in the city on Sunday, each kg broiler chicken was selling at Tk 170-180 which was Tk 150-160 a week ago. It was sold for Tk 120-130 last month.
Besides, the prices of different daily essential commodities including soybean and palm oil, chicken, flour and sugar keep on soaring on Dhaka’s kitchen market ahead of the month of Ramadan.
The consumers urged the government to take proper steps to control the prices on the kitchen markets in the holy month of Ramadan amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Shariful Alam, a resident of Amulia, said he has to purchase most vegetables at double the prices compared to a week ago. ‘Today I bought a kg of aubergine and cucumber at Tk 50 which was Tk 25 respectively in the last week. Besides, I purchased a kg broiler at Tk 170 which was Tk 150 a week ago,’ he also shared.
A hali of lemon (four pieces) was selling at Tk 40-60, each kg arum at Tk 40-50, bitter gourd at Tk 50-60, papaya at Tk 40, bean at Tk 40-60 and yardlong bean at Tk 50, lady’s finger at Tk 60, calabash at Tk 40-50, and patal (pointed gourd) at Tk 50-60 in capital.
Meanwhile, a kg potato was sold at Tk 20-25, green chili at Tk 30 and onion at Tk 40-50 on the retail market.
Shariful added the government should take proper steps to control the prices in the kitchen markets at the eariest otherwise the market will go out of control of the government during the month of Ramadan amid the COVID-19 crisis too.
‘Unscrupulous traders always try to take extra profit creating a crisis. So, the government should monitor the market properly and increase stocks by import the item before shortage occurs. Otherwise general people have to suffer,’ he also added.
Anisur Rahman Khan, chicken trader of Sarulia kitchen market, said the price of broiler increased immensely in the last several weeks. ‘Today, we are selling each kg broiler at Tk 170-180 as we have to purchase it at high prices from the wholesale market. In the last five days, the price increased by Tk 20. The price was Tk 120-130 several weeks ago,’ he added.
Anisur added sales also increased ahead of Shab-e-Barat to be celebrated on the night of March 29 amid supply crunch.
Monzurul Islam, a shopkeeper of Sarulia Kitchen market of the city, told UNB that increasing the prices of daily essentials before the month of Ramadan was normal. ‘The prices of particular goods go up in the month for increased demand. If supply is available then the prices will come down,’ he added.
Salman Forazi, vegetable trader of Jatrabari, said many essentials’ prices are soaring for the same reason.
According to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh data, the prices of broiler chicken increased 1.61 per cent compared to a week while a five-litre bottled soybean jumped 2.44 per cent in this time.
‘The prices of one-litre of loose soybean oil increased Tk 119-126 from Tk 119-125, bottled one at Tk 136-140 from Tk 130-140 and a five-litre bottled soybean jumped Tk 620-640 from Tk 610-620 compared to a week. On the other hand, palm oil loose increased Tk 108-110 from Tk 107-110 in the period,’ the data also showed.
The TCB data showed, the prices of one-litre of loose soybean oil increased 33.88 per cent while one-litre bottle went up 28.37per cent and a five-litre bottle rose 26per cent this year compared to the same time last year. Besides, the price of a kg palm loose increased 47.30per cent and super one went up 39.75 per cent compared to previous year, according to data of the state-run organisation.
The data also showed that the price of each kg curcuma rose Tk 150-180 from Tk l50-160 while ginger increased Tk 70-120 from Tk 70-110 and sugar increased Tk 68-70 from Tk 65-70 compared to last week. Besides, a kg flour price rose at Tk 33-36 from Tk 33-35. Though fine rice prices came down Tk 58-64 from Tk 60-66 and coarse rice decreased Tk 44-47 from Tk 44-48 in the same time.
Nasir Khan, a consumer of Bangshal area, said the prices of rice, oil and meat were very high now on retail markets in Dhaka. ‘We are under pressure for the increasing prices of commodities. Our overall expenditure including house rent increased vastly but income did not increase. The government should monitor the kitchen market properly so that unscrupulous traders can’t raise the prices in Ramadan amid the economic crisis situation posed by the pandemic,’ he said.
Bharatia Parishad president Md Baharane Sultan Bahar said unscrupulous businesses increased the prices of essentials ahead of Ramadan willingly to get extra profit. So, they should be punished for this reason.
‘The prices of essential commodities, including rice, oil and meat go up every day extravagantly in the capital. The people are hostage to the unscrupulous businesses,’ he also said.
Bahar also said they have to purchase each kg fine rice at Tk 65-70, soybean at Tk 140-145, broiler chicken at Tk 160, Sonali chicken at Tk 350-370, beef at Tk 600, mutton at Tk 900 and Rui fish at Tk 300-350.
‘It’s inhuman to increase prices of goods amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the unscrupulous traders should be arrested,’ he also said.
The convener of Tele Consumers Association of Bangladesh Md Murshidul Hoque said per capita expenditure has increased alarmingly in Bangladesh compared to per capital income for various reasons.
‘Low-income earners have to spend most of their income to purchase essential commodities in our country,’ he said.
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