Absence of market monitoring main reason behind price hike
The prices of edible oil, red lentil and sugar went up in the city's kitchen markets over the week end. Prices of sugar and the unpacked and bottled soya bean oil increased as refiners raised the prices, while prices of red lentils rose up due to a supply shortage of its local variety. When the skyrocketed onion price comes down, the high prices of everyday food items push down middle and lower income generating people to an awkward situation. Despite winter vegetables flooding the markets, the prices are still higher than usual. The price of soya bean oil increased by Tk 3-5 a litre and it was selling for Tk 85-110 a litre and palm oil was retailing at Tk 70-75 a litre on Friday.
The prices of sugar increased by Tk 2 a kg and the refined sugar was selling for Tk 65-67 a kg, while the locally produced sugar was retailing at Tk 70 a kg in the city markets. The prices of red lentils increased by Tk 5 a kg and the coarse variety of imported red lentil was selling for Tk 75-80 a kg while its fine variety was retailing at Tk 100-125 a kg. However, the price of onions slightly decreased as the newly harvested onions started hitting the market. The local variety of onions was selling for Tk 120-230 a kg and the imported Egyptian variety for Tk 120 a kg on Friday. Meanwhile, prices of different varieties of rice, beef and mutton, spices, fishes and chicken have also soared from Tk 50-200 in the local markets.
Marginal people are often forced to meet the poverty line in terms of calorie intake due to price increases. The Consumers Association of Bangladesh as the sole defender of consumers' right is a toothless tiger. Besides, the government plays the role of silent bystander letting the hoarders make hefty profits. There is nobody to see the interest of ordinary people.