Prices of kitchen market items rise sharply ahead of Ramadan

Dhaka, March 29 – Prices of most vegetable items have doubled in the capital’s kitchen markets compared to a week before, according to consumers.
At several kitchen markets in the city on Sunday, each kg broiler chicken was selling at Tk170-180 which was Tk150-160 a week ago. It was sold for Tk120-130 last month.
Besides, the prices of different daily essential commodities including soybean and palm oil, chicken, flour and sugar keep on soaring in Dhaka’s kitchen markets ahead of the month of Ramadan. The consumers urged the government to take proper steps to control the prices at 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 Tk50 which was Tk25 respectively in the last week. Besides, I purchased a kg broiler at Tk170 which was Tk150 a week ago,” he also shared.
A hali of lemon (four pieces) was selling at Tk40-60, each kg arum at Tk40-50, bitter gourd at Tk50-60, papaya at Tk40, bean at Tk40-60 and yardlong bean at Tk50, lady’s finger at Tk60, calabash at Tk40-50, and patal (pointed gourd) at Tk50-60 in the capital.
Meanwhile, a kg potato was sold at Tk20-25, green chilli at Tk30 and onion at Tk40-50 in the retail market.
The market will go out of control of the government during the month of Ramadan amid the COVID-19 crisis if steps are not taken right now said one consumer.
“Unscrupulous traders always try to make extra profit creating a crisis. So, the government should monitor the market properly and increase stocks by import the item before a shortage occurs. Otherwise, general people have to suffer,” he added.
Anisur Rahman Khan, a 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 Tk170-180 as we have to purchase it at high prices from the wholesale market. In the last five days, the price increased by Tk20. The price was Tk120-130 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 a 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 is 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 (TCB) data, the prices of broiler chicken increased 1.61 percent compared to a week while a five-litre bottled soybean jumped 2.44 percent in this time.
“The prices of one-litre of loose soybean oil increased Tk119-126 from Tk119-125, bottled one at Tk136-140 from Tk130-140 and a five-litre bottled soybean jumped Tk620-640 from Tk610-620 compared to a week. On the other hand, palm oil loose increased Tk108-110 from Tk107-110 during the period,” the data showed.
The TCB data showed the prices of one-litre of loose soybean oil increased 33.88 % while the price of one-litre bottle went up 28.37% and a five-litre bottle rose 26% this year compared to the same time last year. Besides, the price of a kg palm oil loose increased 47.30% and super one went up 39.75 percent compared to the previous year, according to data of the state-run organization.
The data also showed that the price of each kg curcuma rose Tk150-180 from Tkl50-160 while ginger increased Tk70-120 from Tk70-110 and sugar increased Tk68-70 from Tk65-70 compared to last week. Besides, a kg flour price rose at Tk33-36 from Tk33-35. Though fine rice prices came down Tk58-64 from 60-66 and coarse rice decreased Tk44-47 from Tk44-48 during the same period.
Nasir Khan, a consumer of the Bangshal area, said the prices of rice, oil and meat are very high now in retail markets in Dhaka. “We are under pressure. 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 created 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 Tk65-70, soybean at Tk140-145, broiler chicken at Tk160, Sonali chicken at Tk 350-370, beef at Tk600, mutton at Tk900 and Rui fish at Tk300-350.
“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 (TCAB) 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. – UNB