Essentials’ prices fall


Kitchen markets in the capital and other major cities witnessed a decline of prices of staples including rice, eggs and edible oils in the past one week, indicating smoother supplies of essentials and monitoring despite nationwide shutdown amid COVID-19 pandemic, reports BSS.

Consumers and market monitors said price of imported garlic, ginger, dates and chick-pea showed downtrend in the city markets alongside edible oils of all types like soyabean, palm and super palm oil, imported garlic, ginger, egg, chick-pea and dates showed downtrend in the city markets.

Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the major state-run market monitor, last week had reported that the medium quality rice was sold at Taka 50-55 per kg while coarse rice at Taka 42-50.

“The price of medium quality BR-28 and the imported coarse variety ‘Guti Shawrna’ has reduced by Taka 2-3 per kg this week compare to the last week’s price,” said Mohammad Mostafa, a retailer of Sheikh General Store of Mirpur Rupnagar Area. Several consumers like Alamgir Hossain of Mirpur area expected that the rice price to further go down in the coming days as the newly harvested rice begun to arrive in the market.

Rice Arotdar Samity General Secretary Nirod Baran Saha, however, said the price of all sorts of rice reduced by Taka 6-7 per kg.

TCB’s monthly statistics shows prices of edible oil fell by 8.78 percent, ginger by 9.68 percent, chick-pea by 6.75 percent, imported garlic by 6.67 percent, eggs by 1.82 percent and dates by 5.45 percent.

“There is no scope of price hike of staples as the rice price has shown downtrend when only 5 to 10 percent rice crop has been harvested,” Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder told BSS.

He added the price would fall further when the volume of rice harvest would progress further.

Majumder said the government was simultaneously carrying out special open market sale (OMS) of rice at Taka 10 per kg particularly for the poorer people.

Each person is getting maximum 5 kg of rice once in a week after showing the national identity card (NID) while for every centre in Dhaka, 3 tonnes of rice is allocated everyday while 2 tonnes for every centre outside Dhaka.

Meanwhile, the price of per litre loose soyabean and palm oil is being sold at Taka 92-93 and Taka 65-70 respectively – lower from the level of Taka 93- 95 and Taka 73-75 – in the last week, said the retailers.

TCB officials, however, said price of some spices like onion, red chilli, turmeric, cumin seed, cardamom, coriander and all sorts of red lentils and yellow lentils (mung dal), however, marked rise in the kitchen markets in the last one month.

Moulvibazar Babosayee Samity general secretary Golam Mawlana said the country currently had adequate stock of imported commodities and “there is nothing to be worried”.

Directorate General of National Consumer Rights Protection officials said they kept a constant campaign to keep the commodity prices within the tolerable limit.

“We are conducting drives both at wholesale and retail markets across the country and that’s why the commodity prices remain normal. The drives will continue,” director general of the watchdog Babul Kumar Saha told BSS.