Families with limited incomes are struggling to cope with rising commodity prices following last week’s fuel price hike.
Many middle-class families have cut their fish, egg, meat, and vegetable menu to manage expenses.
Firoz Ali, a teacher who lives with a family of five in the capital’s Siddheswari district, told TBS yesterday: “I bought 2kg of chicken for the whole month when I used to ‘buy 4 kg. Recently I bought four eggs instead of 12.’
Prices of rice, flour, sugar, garlic, chicken, fish and vegetables have increased by Tk 3-30 per kg in markets including Karwan Bazar, Moghbazar, Kalyanpur in the capital by compared to a week ago.
Traders said prices for these products had risen due to rising fuel prices and a shortage of supplies. Prices for some other products may increase this week due to increased transportation costs.
Broiler chicken price increased by Tk 30 to Tk 200 per kg. The price of eggs has increased by Tk 20 per dozen. The price of rice has increased by 3 to 5 Tk per kg. Currently, there is no rice below 52 Tk per kg in the market. Most vegetables are selling at 50-70 Tk per kg, up 10-15 Tk over a week.
Abu Raihan, a vendor at Matlab Store, said the cost of trucking 10 tons of rice from Kushtia to Dhaka has risen from Tk 16,000-17,000 to Tk 20,000. Truck rent from Chapainawabganj to Dhaka has been reduced from Tk 13,000-14,000 to Tk 17,000-18,000.
Mohammad Ali, wholesaler at Karwan Bazar, told TBS that bringing vegetables including brinjal, kachu (taro root), green chilli from Kushtia cost 13,000 Tk, but currently it has risen to 17,000 Tk.
Mohammad Rifat, a vendor at Rifat store in Karwan Bazar, said, “Last week I bought flour in bulk at 38 Tk and sold it at 40 Tk per kg, but currently we have to buy this wholesale at 46 Tk. Lentils are sold at 140 Tk after Tk8. price hike.”
Mohammad Moinuddin, a vendor from Haji Ismail and Sons, said Miniket rice was selling at Tk 65-66 per kg a week ago, but now it costs Tk 70-72. The price of Nazirshail rice was 80-85 Tk, which is currently selling at 85-90 Tk per kg. The price of BR-28 rice increased by 3 Tk to reach 55 Tk per kg.
Bangladesh Consumers Association Chairman Ghulam Rahman said, “The government needs to improve the supply chain in the market to keep commodity prices stable. If the price rises in the international market, it can take action by adjusting taxes or important government level.
“It is not right to increase the price of fuel oil at this time. The government should not think of making profit. They are supposed to serve the people. Due to the latest increase in the prices of basic necessities as well transport costs, low-income people find it difficult to provide for their families.The lower and middle classes are now under pressure,” he added.
The price of green chilli drops
In the Hili port area of Dinajpur, the price of green chilli has declined over the past three days due to an increase in its import from India.
Yesterday, the wholesale price of green chilli in the capital’s Karwan Bazaar was Tk 170, down from Tk 250 three days ago. Its price in the wholesale market yesterday was 200 Tk, which was 280 Tk three days ago.
“We got approval to import a week ago. So far, LCs (letters of credit) for the import of 1,000 tons of green chilli have been opened, while about 200 metric tons have arrived.
“The process of opening the LC continues. Currently, the price of green chilli is around Tk 155-157 per kg, including transportation costs.