Kitchen market going beyond control


The price spiral spree of daily necessaries in kitchen markets of the capital has kept continuing ahead of Ramadan. Prices of almost all items, including green ones, have already shot up, gradually going beyond the reach of the middle-income and poor people. Allegations are ample that the prices are being unjustifiably hiked by leaps and bounds, to the defiance of the government order not to increase the prices before and during the holy month of Ramadan which is due in May. 

With Shab-e-Barat knocking at the door, the daily essentials have witnessed price increase for yet another term. On Friday, almost all kitchen items, including different vegetables, onion, fish, meat and so on, in the capital’s Karwan Bazar, Rampura and Malibagh were found selling at prices higher than those in the previous week. However, prices of egg, red layer chicken and Pakistani cock were down a bit. 

In these kitchen markets on Friday, potato price was increased by Tk 2 per kilogram (kg) from Tk 15 last week. Onion was selling at Tk 24 per kg, up by Tk 5, while sugar price reached Tk 54, up from Tk 52 last week. However, price of per dozen eggs was Tk 95-100, which was Tk 100- 105 last week. 

Among many types of vegetables, bitter gourd was selling at Tk 70, okra at Tk 60, gourd at Tk 60, cucumber at Tk 70, beans at TK 60, brinjal at Tk 40-45, ginger at Tk 90, and garlic price was selling at Tk 100 per kg. In the meat market, beef and mutton were selling at Tk 550 per kg and Tk 850 per kg respectively while broiler chicken was selling at Tk 160-175 a kg, red layer chicken at Tk 220 and Pakistani chicken was selling at Tk 280 per kg. 

The domestically reared chicken item was selling at Tk 450 or above. In the fish market, Hilsa price was unchanged from the previous week’s. Chital fish was selling at Tk 500-550 per kg, Awn fish at Tk 650- 700, Rui-Katla Tk 300-600 per kg, and tilapia at Tk 150-200 per kg, Boal fish at Tk 700-900, Pangas at Tk 180- 250, Pabda fish at Tk 600, and Shing was selling at Tk 400-600. 

However, traders blamed the increasing prices at wholesale markets, making them to hike the prices in the retail markets too. “We have nothing to do as we purchase essentials like vegetables at a high rate. We are compelled to sell them at an increased rate,” said a vegetable trader named Ibrahim who is a retailer at the capital’s Karwan Bazar. 

Traders also said there is no possibility of price decrease during Shabe-Barat and coming Ramadan as some syndicates have already become active in storing kitchen items, decreasing product supply against demand in the market. On the other hand, buyers blamed poor market monitoring system from the government for the unusual price hike. 

“How do prices of daily necessities increase, even though the government claims to have already activated the monitoring system?” Shafiul Islam, a private job-holder who does regular shopping at Karwan Bazar, asked. 

“The government should not limit itself to the announcement of monitoring only; rather they should come to the field. Otherwise, this unhealthy practice will not be stopped,” he suggested