Last minute race to buy groceries prior to strict lockdown
Edible oil importers have reduced prices of the essential cooking ingredient by Tk4 per litre, after hiking it on several occasions, ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
The Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association made the announcement on Wednesday.
A litre of edible oil will not cost Tk149, instead of the previous rate of Tk153.
This is also the first time edible oil prices have come down after multiple hikes.
As per the new decision, the retail price of loose soybean oil will be Tk125 per litre and loose palm at Tk108 per litre.
The price of a five-litre bottle has been set at Tk712.
Last minute race to buy groceries
As a week-long strict lockdown goes into effect across the country from Thursday, consumers rushed to the capital's kitchen markets to stock up on essentials and food items on Wednesday.
Visiting some kitchen markets around the capital, the Dhaka Tribune found that prices were mostly high although there was no scarcity of stock.
Karwan Bazar, the kitchen markets in Hatirpool, the one near BUET, at New Market, and Mohammadpur Town Hall market all saw a sudden surge in buyers.
Mitu Rahman, a stay at home mom at Hatirpool kitchen market said that the news of a strict lockdown has pushed up commodity prices.
Another consumer Mehedi Hasan Badhon said: “Kitchen markets are buzzing with price hikes. Buying extra groceries at a time when people have lost incomes is very difficult. The government should think of alternatives to the lockdown at this stage, considering the loss of livelihoods of the common people.”
SM Nazer Hossain, vice president of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), said: “Traders are always happiest when there is a festival or crisis in the country. They capitalize on the opportunity. Therefore, the government needs to act against dishonest traders.
“However, in this case we have to be aware. Cargo vehicles will operate amid the lockdown. So, traders cannot increase the price of goods if they buy enough stocks,” he added.
He furthermore emphasized on coordination and monitoring of authorities concerned.