The prices of all essential commodities including rice, atta, red lentil, vegetables, edible oil, broiler chicken, eggs and sugar increased abnormally on the kitchen markets in the capital Dhaka over the week ending Friday.
Traders said that the prices of essential commodities have been increasing every day since Saturday last after hiking of fuel oil prices by almost 50 per cent on August 5.
They said that transportation cost of commodities increased more than 50 per cent due to the fuel oil price hike that affected the prices of essentials negatively.
Consumers, however, expressed their anger over the abnormal price hike of essential commodities and criticised the government’s initiative of increasing fuel prices at a time when the price of the item witnessed a downward trend on the international market.
‘No one thinks about poor people. We have been forced to skip beef and mutton long ago. Now we have been forced to skip broiler chicken and eggs and even many of the vegetables as the prices of the items have been increasing every day,’ said Motiar Rahman, a rickshaw puller in the city, who came from Dinajpur.
He asked how the poor people would afford eggs as the price of the item increased to Tk 13 apiece from Tk 10 apiece in the last five days.
‘Most of the vegetables are selling between Tk 60-70 a kilogram while the price of a kilogram of coarse variety of rice increased to Tk 55 a kilogram. How will a rickshaw puller and his family members survive?’ Motiar said.
The prices of rice increased by Tk 3-5 a kilogram over the week on the city markets.
The coarse variety of rice sold for Tk 50–55 a kilogram in the capital on Friday.
The medium-quality variety of rice sold for Tk 55–60 a kilogram while the BR-28 variety, also known as a lower-grade Miniket, retailed at Tk 62–66 a kilogram.
The fine-variety of Miniket sold for Tk 72–78 a kilogram and Najirshail for Tk 75–85 a kilogram on the day.
Following the price hike of fuel oil, the rice mill owners increased the price of rice and at the same time transportation cost also went up, traders said.
The price of atta increased by Tk 6-8 a kilogram over the week and unpackaged item was sold for Tk 48-50 a kilogram on the city markets on Friday.
The price of broiler chicken increased by Tk 30 a kilogram over the week and the item sold for Tk 190–200 a kilogram on Friday.
The Sonalika variety of chicken sold for Tk 280–290 a kilogram and the local variety for Tk 530–550 a kilogram on the day.
The price of eggs increased by Tk 6-7 a hali (four pieces) over the week and the item sold for Tk 44–48 a hali on the markets in the city on Friday.
The prices of edible oil increased by Tk 2-3 a litre over the week.
A one-litre bottle of soya bean oil was selling for Tk 185–190 while a five-litre container of the item was retailing at Tk 910 on Friday.
Unpackaged soya bean oil sold for Tk 168-170 a litre on the day.
Palm oil sold for Tk 140–150 a litre in the city on Friday.
Edible oil refiners have sent a proposal to the government to increase the price of soya bean oil by Tk 20 a litre.
Before the proposed price was approved, Bashundhara Group increased the price of a five-litre container of soya bean oil to Tk 997 from Tk 910.
Traders said that the soya bean oil with price tag Tk 997 has started entering the retail market from Thursday.
The prices of some of the vegetables increased by Tk 10 a kilogram on the city markets over the week.
Aubergine sold for Tk 60–80 a kilogram, papaya for Tk 30–40 a kilogram, bitter gourd for Tk 60–70 a kilogram, bottle gourd for Tk 50–60 apiece, cucumber for Tk 50–60 a kilogram, pointed gourd for Tk 50-60 a kilogram, potatoes for Tk 30-35 a kilogram, carrot for Tk 160–180 a kilogram and tomatoes for Tk 120–140 a kilogram on the day.
Green chillies sold for Tk 280–300 a kilogram in the city on Friday.
Khondaker Salahuddin Ahmad, a small business owner from Mohammadpur in the city, said that the price hike of fuel oils affected fixed income people severely.
‘I have already been forced to cut my menu as commodity prices jumped but my earnings went down,’ he said.
Beef was sold for Tk 680–720 a kilogram while mutton was sold for Tk 900–950 a kilogram on Friday.
The prices of onions increased by Tk 5-10 a kilogram over the week and the local variety of onions sold for Tk 50–55 a kilogram while the imported variety sold for Tk 40–50 a kilogram in the capital on Friday.
The local variety of garlic was sold for Tk 80–100 a kilogram while the imported one sold for Tk 120–140 a kilogram on the day.
The prices of fish increased by Tk 20 a kilogram over the week.
Rohita sold for Tk 320–400 a kilogram and Katla for Tk 300–380 a kilogram, depending on size and quality.
Pangas sold for Tk 180–190 and Tilapia for Tk 150–180.
The coarse variety of red lentil sold for Tk 105–110 a kilogram and the medium-quality variety for Tk 120–125 a kilogram on Friday.
The fine variety of red lentil sold for Tk 130–135 a kilogram on the day.
Ginger sold for Tk 100–120 a kilogram and the local variety for Tk 110–140 a kilogram on the day.
The prices of sugar increased by Tk 5 a kilogram and the refined item sold for Tk 85 while the locally produced one for Tk 85–90 a kilogram.
The fine-quality packaged salt retailed at Tk 32–35 a kilogram and the coarse variety at Tk 20–25 a kilogram.