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Bangladesh Attar-Cap Multipurpose Cooperative Association’s former general secretary Mafizul Islam told Prothom Alo, “Those of us who have been selling caps, attar, prayer mats and other products at the Baitul Mukarram market, are not doing well. We do not sell much throughout the year. However, before Eid, the sale of attar and caps increases manifold. However, sales this year are very low.” There is a Tk 1 billion (100 crore) market for caps in the country, he said.

The words of the sellers were found to be true upon visiting the market. During a visit to the main market of attar and caps at Baitul Mukarram on Tuesday, it was observed that the number of customers was much less as compared to the other Eids.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Mozammel Haque, a customer, said, “My income has fallen due to the pandemic. Despite that, I have bought new clothes for my son. I bought new caps as well.”

Different sorts of products including various kinds of local and foreign caps, attar, prayer mats and tasbih beads are sold at the 218 shops in the Baitul Mukarram market.

A cap worth Tk 9,000

Usually, the caps priced between Tk 100 and Tk 1,000 are sold at the Baitul Mukarram market. However, there are also caps worth Tk 9,000 in the market. This highest priced caps are called “Jinnah caps”. The next most expensive caps in the market are called “Samrat caps”. The price of a Samrat cap is Tk 5,000. However, the most sold among these expensive caps is the Egyptian qari cap. It costs between Tk 500 to 1,000. Cap sellers in Baitul Mukarram say that the home-made Al Farooq caps are extremely popular.

Sale of attar is low too

Speaking to the traders, it was revealed that like the caps, the sale of the fragrance, attar, is quite low as well. According to the sellers in Baitul Mukarram market, one unit of attar is being sold at a maximum price of Tk 7,500 at the Baitul Mukarram market. That attar is made in Dubai and named as Ude Kasas. Apart from this, the price of Mariam attar of Saudi Arabia is Tk 4,500. The demand for Al Haramain Qamar attar is high in the market.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo online and print editions, has been rewritten in English by Ashish Basu

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