Market price: Daily essentials still costly

Daily essentialsFile photo

Almost every year the price of sugar increases during the month of Ramadan. This time, the government exempted duty to an extent on the import of the product to reduce its price. Due to this, the import cost of one kg of sugar has decreased by only Tk 0.68 compared to before. As a result, the price of sugar is not coming down.

Currently, the price of a kg of loose sugar in the capital is Tk 140-145 which was Tk 110-120 at the same time last year. In January 2021, the price of one kg of sugar was more or less Tk 60.

Like sugar, the prices of rice, pulses, edible oil, flour, onion, fish, meat and eggs are still high in the market. The prices of winter vegetables significantly come down in February every year. But the picture was opposite this year. On the whole, people are not at ease.

In its election manifesto announced before the 12th parliamentary elections held on 7 January, the Awami League emphasised controlling the commodity prices. Since the new government took charge, the cabinet members have been talking about various steps to control the commodity prices. The duty of certain products has been exempted. However, it has no major impact on the market.

According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the price of rice has not decreased in the retail market in the last one month; instead the price of fine rice has slightly increased.

The TCB also informed the media that the prices of flour, soybeans, palm oil and pulses have also not decreased. The price of potatoes, however, has dropped significantly. The price per kg has come down from Tk 80 to Tk 40. Despite this, potatoes were Tk 20-25 per kg at this time last year.

State minister for commerce Ahsanul Islam spoke about the market situation at a meeting organised by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dhaka (MCCI) Wednesday.

He said, “The businessmen become generous in other Muslim-majority countries of the world during the holy month of Ramadan, they become a little charitable. But they (tradespersons) see Ramadan as an opportunity in our country.”

The state minister further said to the traders, “I earnestly request you, please be flexible now.”

Ahsanul Islam also stated that the market management system should be rearranged.

He said that all will see visible improvement in this regard from 1 March. The prices of various commodities at different markets and at the place of production could be known through the website.

The state minister said they have been trying to find the source of the real problem and solve it without penalising the traders for the hike in prices of daily commodities.