National, Front Page

Govt fixes prices of 29 essentials

Fresh move to tame price spiral

Published : 15 Mar 2024 10:52 PM

As the commodity prices go unbridled, the government in its fresh move has fixed prices of 29 essentials, including fish and meat. 

The move has been taken to tame the price hike of commodities that continue to soar, multiplying sufferings of the people, particularly low and fixed income groups. 

The Department of Agricultural Marketing issued a notification fixing the prices of essentials on Friday exercising its power under 4 (i) of Agriculture Marketing Act 2018.

All have been requested the follow the new prices until further notice, reads the notification. 

Sources in the agricultural ministry say that various units of the government will conduct supervision so that essential items must be sold in line with the prices fixed by the government. 

As per the new rate, the highest price of beef per kilogram has been fixed at Tk 664 while price of mutton at Tk 1003 and Catla fish at Tk 354. Currently, beef is being sold between Tk 700 and Tk 750 per kg and mutton around Tk 1200 per kg. 

The department of agricultural marketing also fixed the price of broiler chicken at Tk 175 per kg and Sonali chicken at Tk 262 per kg. At present, broiler chicken is selling at Tk 225 per kg and Sonali is Tk 320 per kg.

The DAM also urged traders to sell egg at Tk 10.50 per piece. 

The authorities concerned also fixed the price of onion which is selling over Tk 100 per kg. As per the directive, one kilogram of onion must be sold at Tk 65 per kg while one kg garlic at Tk 120 and zinger at Tk 180 per kg. 

As per the new rate, each kilogram of gram can be sold highest at Tk 98 per kg at the retailer level while it will be Tk 93 at wholesale market. The price of lentil (Masur) has been fixed at Tk 130.50 per kg, while Mugdal at Tk 165 per kg.

After assuming office for the fourth consecutive term, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina highlighted Being asked, ministers have also held series of meetings with stakeholders to identify the reasons beyond the price spiral. 

Even, the law enforcement agencies are conducting drives against the extortionists and hoarders. But the problem still lingers as prices of essentials mark a sharp rise even in the peak season.

But the drives against price hike look futile as traders defy the govt orders to line their pocket.

In this situation, the National Board of Revenue has withdrawn customs tariff and reduced regulatory duty on rice, sugar and dates and lifted value added tax on edible oil to boost supply and contain prices of the essentials during the month of Ramadan. 

The 25 percent customs duty on rice import has been removed and regulatory duty slashed to 5 percent from 25 percent, according to a notification published by the NBR on Thursday.

In a separate notice, the NBR also withdrew VAT on edible oil. 

It reduced the specific duty on import of raw sugar to Tk 1,000 per tonne from Tk 1,500.

The NBR also cut import duty for dates, mostly consumed during the fasting month of Ramadan, to 15 percent from 25 percent. The new rates have already become effective. 

In the notification, wholesale price of per kg cabbage is Tk 23.45 and retail price is Tk 28.30, wholesale price of cauliflower is Tk 24.50 per kg and retail price is Tk 29.60, wholesale price of eggplant is Tk 38.25 and retail Tk 49.75, wholesale price of per kg bean is Tk 40.82 and retail Tk 48, potato wholesale price Tk 23.30 and retail price Tk 28.55, tomato wholesale price Tk 30.20  per kg and retail Tk 40.20, sweet pumpkin wholesale price is Tk 16.45 and retail price Tk 23.38, whole price of per kg date (Zahidi) is Tk 155.53 and retail price Tk 185.07, flattened rice wholesale price is Tk 52.75 per kg and retail price Tk 60, wholesale price of one hali (four pieces) banana (Sagor) is Tk 22.60 and retail price Tk 29.78 and wholesale price of per kg gram flour s Tk 99.02 and retail price is Tk 121.30.