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No tax imposed but prices of 13 daily essentials go up

Published : Monday, 14 June, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 483

Prices of essential commodities have further increased amid a sharp decline in income due to Covid-19 pandemic, much to the sufferings of the poor people.
After Eid-ul Fitr prices of oil, rice, pulses, eggs and vegetables have gone up. As a result, middle and low-income people are now in dire straits.
Despite imposition of no tax in the proposed budget, the prices of 13 daily essentials including rice, pulses, flour, ginger, garlic, eggs, baby food powder and milk have gone out of control within a few days.
Traders say the sudden drop in the supply of domestic onions in the market led to a rise in its price.
The price of onion jumped from Tk 40 to Tk 60 a kg. But now with the increase in supply, the retail price has come down to Tk 50.
Abul Kalam, a trader in Kawran Bazar, said the supply of onions was declining as imports from India were stopped.
According to a report by the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), prices of 13 products have risen in the past one month.
During the month, rice price has increased by a maximum of 3.38 percent a kg. Price of flour has increased by 1.15 percent a kg, edible oils by 6.11 percent a liter while pulses by 11.6 percent a kg.
    The price of domestic onion has increased by 16.06 percent a kg during the month. Garlic is being sold with an additional price of 11.11 percent.
Ginger prices rose by 13.04 percent, cinnamon by 4.94 percent, rui fish by 9.09 percent and powdered milk by 0.69 percent per kg.
Besides, the price of sugar has increased by 5.06 percent per kg during the month. The price of packaged salt has increased by 7.6 percent per kg.
Golam Rahman, president of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), said there was no reason for the rise in prices of daily commodities, as the budget did not impose new taxes on them.
Sources said good quality Miniket rice is being sold between Tk 74 and Tk 75 per kg at the retail market. Rice sold from Tk 70 to Tk 72 a kg before the budget or a month ago.
Similarly, BR-28 rice is being sold between Tk 52 and Tk 54 per kg, which was earlier sold at Tk 48-Tk 50. Besides, among the coarse rice, gold variety rice is being sold at Tk 50-Tk 52 per kg, which was earlier sold at Tk 45-Tk 46.
Siddiqur Rahman, owner of Allah Dan Rice Agency at Kawran Bazar, said there was no rice in the government warehouse.
The government reserves have dwindled. Millers are taking the advantage of it to raise prices during the rice season.
After the announcement of the budget, the price of flour has increased anew. Open flour is being sold at Tk 34 per kg. Packet flour sold at Tk 40 before the budget is now being sold at Tk 44.
Open soybean oil is being sold at Tk 132-Tk133 per litre, which was sold at Tk 128-Tk 130 before the budget or a month ago. The five-liter bottled soybean is being sold at a maximum of Tk 730, which was sold at Tk 680 before the budget.
Traders say the price of vegetables will not go down until the water recedes. Due to storms and rains, different areas of the country are being flooded anew.
As a result, the supply of vegetables has decreased compared to the demand. Buyers complained that the traders had increased the prices of all vegetables illegally.
While visiting different kitchen markets including Badda, Rampura and Malibagh areas of the capital on Sunday, this correspondent found retailers selling eggs at Tk 35-Tk 37 per hali (four pieces). But last week the eggs were sold at Tk 32-Tk 34.
Among the vegetables, karla, usta and tomato are being sold at Tk 60-Tk 70 per kg. Cucumber is being sold at Tk 60-Tk 70 per kg. Brinjal is being sold at the same price. And chichinga, shrimp, zucchini, barbati, kachu lati are being sold at Tk 60 per kg. Papaya, potato and pumpkin are being sold at Tk 50-Tk 60 per kg.
The price of vegetables has doubled in a week. Besides, green chillies are being sold at Tk 70-Tk 80 per kg.
Asked about the sudden rise in vegetable prices, Mobinul Haque, a businessman at Karwan Bazar kitchen Market in the capital told the Daily Observer, a lesser amount of vegetables are coming to markets due to rain resulting in price hike.
Broiler chickens are also being sold at high prices. It is now Tk 140-Tk 150 per kg. Cock (chicken) is being sold at Tk 230-Tk 250 per kg.
Beef is being sold at Tk 580-Tk 600 and mutton at Tk 800-Tk 900.

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