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Consumer groups want ration shops for low income people

Food 2023-03-18, 9:56pm


Rice on sale at a market in the Capital on Monday. UNB

Jehangir Hussain

As essential prices and the costs of transportation increased since the last Ramadan, consumer protection groups have demanded of the government to introduce ration shops for low income people under effective supervision.

In last one year, the prices of various essentials including broiler chicken. lentil, rice,  vegetables, beef, fish, gram, sugar, mutton, egg,  increased by seven to 51 per cent.

Soaring prices are causing extreme hardship to not only the low income groups but also the middle class.

Meanwhile, with five days left for Ramadan to begin the commodity market has become further unstable.

Besides, fish and meat, the prices of essentials have increased.

Reduction of sugar import duty failed to create any impact on its retail market.

Soaring prices increased the anxiety of the low-income people.

The low and lower income middle class consumers are suffering due to increased prices of daily commodities.

Many people are not able to buy even the bare essentials.

Common people are struggling to make to ends meet.

Many people are finding it difficult to survive.

During visits to kitchen markets in the capital, the Daily Observer correspondent found that  though there was no shortage of stocks, essential prices were increased abnormally ahead of Ramadan.

Analysing local production, imports  and the  stocks, the government agencies said that there was shortage of stocks, the supply chain is also normal, therefore, there was no reason to increase the prices.

According to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data, the price of fine rice has increased by seven per cent, flour price increased by 90 per cent and soybean oil price --by 68 per cent, in one year.

In March 2022, fine rice was sold at Tk 65 per kg, now it costs Tk 75.

The price of  coarse rice increased from  Tk 50 per kg to Tk 65 per kg.

On the other hand, the price of fine rice (miniket) was between Tk 60 last year, which is now Tk 72 to Tk 75.

The price of najirshail rice is now Tk 80 per kg.

Cooking oil price has gone beyond the reach of common people.

Soybean oil price has shot up to Tk 200 Per ltre from Tk 170 per litre in one year.

Not only food products’ prices , but also the transport fares have almost doubled.

Farm  egg price has increased to Tk 50 per dozen from 35 per dozen in one year.

Lentil price has shot up to Tk 135 per kg from Tk 100,  increased to Tk 135, since March 2022.

The price of loose flour has increased by 74 per cent.

A year ago, the price of loose flour was Tk  38 per kg, now it has increased to Tk  65 per kg.

In  one year, the price of gram has increased by Tk 20 to Tk 25 per kg to Tk 95 or  Tk 100 depending on quality

Sources said that sugar prices increased to record high now as the companies created a crisis by stopping the supplies.

The government repeatedly fixed the sugar price which failed to create any impact on the market.

According to TCB, the price of sugar has increased by 45 per cent. Last year, the price of one kg of sugar was around Tk 85, now it sells for Tk 115 to Tk 120.

The refining companies repeatedly increased the prices of cooking oil and sugar throughout the year.

According to TCB, the prices of large, medium and small lentils have increased by 15, 24 and 25 per cent per kg respectively in a one-year period.

Now per kg lentil price is between Tk 100 to Tk 140 per kg, which was Tk 97 to Tk 110 last year. Lentils are available in the market as well as packaged lentils in supermarkets or big stores. Packaged lentils of different brands are being sold at Tk 150 to Tk 170 per kg, which was between Tk 130 earlier.

The price of broiler chicken has increased again in the market.

Broiler chicken is being sold at Tk 250 to Tk 260 per kg. Last year it was sold at Tk 140 to Tk 150.

One kg of Sonali chicken is being sold for Tk 350 to Tk 370 up from last year’s  Tk 250 to Tk 270 per kg.

Now, layer chicken costs between Tk 320 and Tk 330 per kg up from Tk 270 to Tk 280 per kg in the last year.

Beef price has increased from Tk 650 per kg in March 2022, to between Tk 750 and Tk 780 per kg.

One kg of mutton now costs between Tk 1,000 and Tk 1,050, up from Tk 900 last year.

The price of all the fish has increased.

Cultured Koi now costs Tk 220 per kg up from Tk 170 per kg last year.

Tilapia price has increased from Tk 180 per kg to Tk 220 per kg.

The price of rohu has increased to Tk 400 to Tk 450 from Tk 300 in March 2022.

The price of local dry chillies per kg has gone up by 120 per cent in the last one year.

And the price of imported dry chili has increased by 72 per cent per kg.

The price of local ginger has increased from Tk 100 per kg to  Tk 220 per kg since March 2022, an increase by 91 per cent.

The price of one kg of imported ginger has increased from Tk 100 to Tk 170.

According to TCB, the price of cumin has increased by 84 per cent in the last one year.

Price of one kg of cumin has increased from between Tk 350 and Tk 400 to Tk 600.

One  cauliflower now costs between  Tk 30 and Tk 35, cucumber --Tk 50 to Tk 60 per kg, brinjal Tk 60 to Tk 80 per kg, one kg of tomato Tk 30 to Tk 40, beans Tk 50 to Tk 60 per kg, bitter gourd Tk 80 to Tk 90, rice pumpkin -- Tk 50 to Tk 60 each.

Gourd -- Tk 60 to Tk 70, sweet pumpkin at Tk 40 per kg, snake gourd -- Tk 60, pointed gourd Tk 80, gourd-- Tk 100, kachurlati-- Tk 60 to Tk 70, green papaya -- Tk 30 to Tk 40 and barabti -- Tk 100.

The price of green chilli has decreased to Tk 160 per kg from Tk 190 to Tk 200, in March 2022.

Four green bananas now cost Tk 30 to Tk 40 .

Four lemons cost between Tk 30 and Tk 40.

Onion price remained stable since March 2022.

In Taka per kg

Product name 2022 2023

Coarse rice 50 65

Fine rice 65 75

Edible oil 170 190

Lentil 100 135

Flour 38 65

gram 80 100

Sugar 85 120

Broiler chicken 150 260

Sonali chicken 270 370

Beef 650 750

Mutton 900 1100

Rui (fish) 300 450

Koi (fish) 180 220

Garlic 100 140

Ginger 100 170

Egg (four) 35 50