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22 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Prices of essentials soar

Our Correspondents, Tangail, Noakhali
Prices of essentials soar
A woman buys vegetables from Maijdee court area in Noakhali yesterday. INDEPENDENT PHOTO

 Prices of Iftar commodities have risen sharply in Tangail and Noakhali at the beginning of Ramadan, burning a hole in the pockets of common people.

In both districts, unscrupulous traders have raised commodity prices in violation of ministry directives issued to keep prices in check during Ramadan.

In Tangail town, brinjal is being sold for Tk. 80 a kg in Park bazaar, Battala bazaar and Soiani bazaar as against last week's Tk. 40. Cucumber is selling for Tk. 60 a kg, up by Tk. 30 from the previous week. Sugar is being being sold for Tk. 60 a kg instead of last week's Tk. 50. Besides, green chilli is being sold for Tk. 60, but it was selling for Tk. 40 only a few days back.

The price of date has also increased by Tk. 20–50 per kg, depending on its quality.

Prices of garlic, onions and zinger have also gone up. Country chicken and other chicken varieties, beef and mutton too have become costly without any obvious reason, say consumers.

Traders say vegetable prices have gone up because of poor supply due to rainfall. Prices of grams, however, have remained stable.

Ajmot Ali, a rickshaw-puller, expressed dissatisfaction over the unjustified price hike and blamed the local administration for it.

Last Thursday, Md Asgar Hossain, AC (land) of Mirzapur upazila, conducted a mobile court to check grocers, fruits and vegetable shops, hotels, and fish and meat shops in Mirzapur town for price hike and possible adulteration of the essentials during Ramadan.

He asked the traders to put on display the price list of the essentials within 24 hours and not to raise their prices. He realised a fine of Tk. 17,500 from six shops for legal violations.

In Noakhali, soaring prices of essentials have caused a great deal of hardship to low-income people during Ramadan.

Brinjal is now selling for Tk. 90 per kg. Before Ramadan started, it was available for Tk. 20. Green chilli is being sold for Tk.190–200 kg, up from Tk 40–50 during the pre-Ramadan period.

Prices of different varieties of vegetables have seen a steep rise in the district’s local markets, making life difficult for ordinary people, particularly those belonging to low-income groups.

This correspondent visited kitchen markets on Sunday, including the Maijdee Municipality Market. Prices of most of the important items consumed during Ramadan, such as brinjals, green chilli, cucumber, onions, edible oil, sugar, beef, eggs, fish, mutton and chicken, potatoes, lentils , ginger, chick pea, vegetables, and  aubergine have risen sharply, even doubling in some cases.

Onions and green chillies, the two most essential commodities, display a marked increase in prices across all markets in the district. Local onions are now selling for Tk. 35–40, while Indian onions are being sold for Tk. 30–32. Only last week, local onions were sold for Tk. 20–25.

Basan is selling for Tk. 100 a kg as against Tk. 70 a few days ago. Ginger is now selling for Tk. 120. It was sold for Tk. 80–85 last week. The price of potatoes has risen to Tk. 30 per kg, even though it was Tk. 18 only five days ago.

Hilsha is being sold for Tk. 1,200–1,500 a kg. Last week, it was selling for Tk. 900–1,000. Jamshad, a consumer, alleged that dishonest traders had scaled up the prices in the absence of any monitoring. He said cucumbers, a local product, is selling for Tk. 40, up from Tk. 15–18 earlier.

When asked, Monir Hossain, a wholesaler in Grater Noakhali, told The Independent that some dishonest businessmen have cranked up prices of Ramadan items due to supply shortages, soaring transportation costs and non-arrival of Indian goods in time.

When contacted, Mahabub Alam Talokdar, deputy commissioner of Noakhali, said the district administration would begin price monitoring in the bazaars. “We have held a meeting with local wholesalers on market prices and import rates. We'll monitor the two big markets every day.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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