Syndicates to blame
Prices of essentials rise ahead of Ramadan
Published : Saturday, 27 February, 2021 at 12:00 AM Count : 235
A number of syndicates have become active ahead of the upcoming holy Ramadan, like the previous years.
By manipulating, they have deliberately increased the prices of essential products two months before the start of Ramadan. But even though the unscrupulous traders have been manipulating the market for several years, they are always out of reach of the authorities concerned.
According to the government agency Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the prices of gram, lentil, edible oil, ginger, garlic, sugar, beef, broiler chicken and dates have increased from a minimum of Tk 10 to a maximum of Tk 150 in two months.
On the other hand, the government set a maximum price to curb the price of edible oil during Ramadan, but it did not reflect in the market. Consumers are eager to buy more than one product at a higher price before the start of holy Ramadan.
Market insiders say that for several years, two months before the start of Ramadan, unscrupulous businessmen start cutting consumers' pockets. Later, when the responsible Ministry intensified the monitoring activities in the name of market control, these people reduced the prices of the products.
However, one-fourth of the money that is increased by manipulation is reduced. Even though the government takes credit for this, the unscrupulous businessmen rob at least Tk 1,000 crore from the pockets of the consumers every year during Ramadan.
Besides, every time the selling price of a product is fixed by the government, it is not seen to be effective.
TCB has reviewed the daily market price list and found that more than nine essential commodities are being sold at higher prices.
According to TCB, gram is being sold at an additional price of Tk 10 to Tk15 per kg every two months in the retail markets of the capital. Per kg lentil pulses (small grains) are being sold at a higher price of Tk 10. Open soybeans are being sold at Tk 18 per liter and bottled soybeans at Tk 20 per liter in two months.
Besides, per kg sugar is being sold at Tk 5 per kg, per kg ginger at Tk10 and garlic at Tk 20 per kg. And beef is being sold at Tk 20 per kg and broiler chicken at Tk 30 or more.
In the interval of two months, date sellers are selling ordinary quality dates at over Tk 150 per kg.
On Monday, the gram is being sold at Tk 80 per kg, which was sold Tk 70 two months ago. Per kg small lentil is being sold at Tk 110, which was sold at Tk 100 two months ago.
Sugar is being sold at Tk 70 per kg, which was sold Tk 65 before. Ginger is being sold at Tk 110 per kg with an increased of Tk 10 per kg in two months.
Garlic is being sold at Tk 130 per kg with an increase of Tk 20. Besides, dates (normal quality) are being sold at Tk 500 per kg, which has increased by Tk 150 in two months.
Besides, beef is being sold at Tk 600 per kg which was sold at Tk 550 two months ago. Broiler chickens were sold at Tk 155 per kg, up from Tk 125 two months ago.
The prices of eggs has gone up by Tk 5 and red eggs are being sold at Tk 90 per dozen, duck eggs at Tk 155 to Tk 160 and local chicken eggs at Tk 165 to Tk 170 per dozen.
Local onions are being sold at Tk 35 to Tk 40 per kg, which was earlier sold at Tk 28 to Tk 30 per kg.
Local dried chillies are being sold at Tk 260 to Tk 310 per kg, up from Tk 220 to Tk 280 earlier. Local turmeric is being sold at Tk 220 to Tk 240, two months ago it was sold at Tk 190 to Tk 220.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, "We are thinking about all the products ahead of Ramadan." The Prime Minister has ordered, so that people do not suffer in Ramadan. All sorts of measures are being taken so that people can get products at affordable prices during Ramadan.
In addition, several government agencies are closely monitoring the situation so that there is no shortage of basic necessities during Ramadan.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Minister on Wednesday fixed the price of edible oil on behalf of the Commerce Ministry. Of this, open soybean has been fixed at Tk 115 per liter and bottled soybean at Tk 135, which is supposed to be effective from the day, but the market picture is different.