Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Wednesday instructed all deputy commissioners in Bangladesh to work towards keeping the price of daily essentials within the purchasing capability of consumers.
The minister made the comment while addressing a three day conference of DCs at cabinet division in the Secretariat, Dhaka.
The prices of various essential commodities, including vegetables and groceries, have shot up in kitchen markets of the capital due to heavy downpours across the country.
The prices of chili, tomato, bitter gourd, brinjal, radish, rice, sugar, garlic, cinnamon and various kinds of spinach are just some of those to have increased significantly as compared to the recent past.
According to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the price of coarse rice increased to Tk42-45 per kg from the previous week’s Tk40-42, while fine rice rose to Tk50-56 from Tk48-56. Sugar prices went up to Tk65-70 from Tk62-64, imported garlic Tk215-240 from Tk210-225 and cinnamon Tk320-360 from Tk280-350.
Md Sobhan Talukder, a vegetable trader at Kawran Bazar, said: “It is not unusual to increase prices of essential commodities in kitchen markets of our country during heavy rain. The prices of some vegetables went up by 100% and some by 50% compared to the last couple of days.”
“What can we do? We have to increase the price as there is a shortage of the products. Loaded trucks cannot arrive in Dhaka from different districts of the country due to the downpour and water logging. Not to mention that various products rot in the damp weather. We cannot even open ours shops,” he added.
Md Alamin Khan, a resident of Sukrabad, said: “Today I bought tomato at Tk150 per kg, chili at Tk120, carrot at Tk50 and Onion Tk35 from the kitchen market. The prices of most essential commodities have increased, and that’s why the cost of living for my family has shot up immensely.
“Even though I have a private job, the increased prices make it difficult with six of us under one roof.”