Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin had assured people on Saturday that during Ramadan, prices will be strictly monitored to keep the market in favour of the people
Despite a monitoring initiative declared just two days ago, no noticeable impact has yet been seen on prices of essential commodities in the capital’s kitchen markets.
Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin had assured people on Saturday that during Ramadan, prices will be strictly monitored to keep the market in favour of the people.
But major kitchen markets in the capital witnessed prices doubling in the first week of Ramadan and lockdown.
Visiting Fakirapool Bazar, Buet Kacha Bazar, Karwan Bazar, Mohakhali Kacha Bazar, and Mohammadpur Krishi Market yesterday, prices of vegetables and commodities were found to have increased.
Tomatoes were being sold at Tk50-60 per kg in the kitchen markets, up from Tk30 last week. Cucumbers were selling at Tk80-100 per kg, up from Tk55-60 last week.
And two weeks ago, cucumbers were sold at Tk30-35 per kg. Pointed gourds sold for Tk60-70, which were Tk50-60 last week. Besides, long beans, which sold at Tk60-70 per kg last week, sold at Tk70-80 per kg yesterday.
Beans are being sold at Tk60 per kg, which was between Tk30 and Tk40 earlier. Each piece of pumpkin used to be Tk30 to Tk40 last week, but now they are being sold for Tk60-70. Onions were sold at Tk45 per kg, up from Tk35 last week.
Delowar Hossain, a buyer at Karwan Bazar, said: “The prices of essential commodities are constantly rising due to the lockdown. There is no monitoring or control. All vegetable prices have gone up.”
Mohammad Amir, a retail vegetable seller at Karwan Bazar, blamed transport restrictions amid the lockdown for the price hike.
Another retail vegetable seller Sajidul Amin said: “We buy all goods from wholesalers with a higher price, so we have to sell those at higher prices too. News of the lockdown extension will push the prices up again.”
Nazrul Islam, a former economics professor at the University of Dhaka, said the number of mobile courts being set up to control the prices of essential commodities needs to be increased and market monitoring needs to be strengthened.
Golam Rahman, president of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), said unscrupulous traders always use this holy month to make profits for the entire year.
“The government has to identify and punish the people behind the abnormal price hikes,” he added. “Market monitoring must be effective and the price of the products must be determined logically.”