Plot to keep sugar price volatile
Badrul Ahsan :
A strong syndicate of millers and the whole sellers are active to increase prices of sugar ahead of Ramzan, traders claimed.
They also claimed that the wholesalers have already increased Tk 300 to Tk 400 against each one hundred kilogram sack of sugar which will impact to the retail market.
The traders said the prices of sugar might be raised again in different phases during the holy month of Ramzan and ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
"Prices of sugar in the retail market increased by around Tk 5 per kilogram as we are forced to pay extra money to the wholesalers," Ahmed Kamal, a retailer, told The New Nation on Tuesday.
He added: "Wholesalers charge us higher prices of sugar. We do not have any scope to bargain with them. But when we increase price of sugar accordingly then consumers become angry with us."
When asked Nayeem Mustafe, another grocery shop owner in the city's Fakira pool area, said they raised Tk 5 against each kilogram of sugar as they have to count extra fare to carry goods from the wholesalers to the retail market due to heavy traffic congestion ahead of Ramzan.
On the other hand, Abdul Mannan, a wholesalers at Kawran Bazar, said that they face different types of anomalies during receiving delivery of sugar from mills which pushes cost of their goods.
"There are huge rush of trucks in the mill gate. Taking delivery of sugar takes three to seven days which causes more than Tk 20,000 against each truck of goods. So we become bound to raise price," Mannan said.
However, Fahamida Zaman, a consumer alleged that all the stakeholders, including millers, wholesalers and the retailers, are involved with price hike conspiracy.
"Prices of goods in each country across the globe decreases during any festival time but in our country, it is just opposite. Here businesses make syndicate ahead of any festival, including Ramzan, the holy month of Muslims," she said expressing her anger.
After a visit to different kitchen markets in the city, this correspondent found that prices of sugar is different in different markets.
Retailers of Krishi Market in Mohammadpur area were selling sugar at Tk 66 per kg while in Fakirapool market it was found selling at Tk 67 and in Jatrabari area more or less at Tk 65.
Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said prices of some consumable items may increase in the market slightly during Ramzan as demand for those increases significantly during the period.
"But if we find anyone increasing prices of goods making syndicate, we will not spare any of them," the Minister added.