Prices galloping out of control

by Muhith Masih (বাবু) | July 5, 2008 2:16 pm

Triggered by the recent rise in the fuel prices, the prices of essential commodities in the city got a fresh spell of upswing and, according to market sources, it would continue for at least another two weeks multiplying the sufferings of the common people already reeling from price spirals.
The abnormal price hike are pushing the ‘once solvent’ fixed income group people towards poverty as all of a sudden their consumption power reduced manifold.

However, the traders in the kitchen market also blamed the bad weather for the rise in the vegetable prices.
In yesterday’s kitchen market in the capital prices of almost all the essential commodities like rice, flour, pulse, edible oil, milkpowder rose significantly.

After announcing the fuel price hike the government in an official release forecast that the effect of the hike would affect the rice prices nominally and they had shown that transportation cost for per kg rice would be raised by 40 paisa only.
But rice traders gave different argument as they said that the government calculation considered only one phase of the transportation that is from the rice traders in North Bengal to rice trades in Dhaka.

But actually the transportation cost raised in three phases. First from the farmers to the millers, from the millers to the wholesalers in Dhaka and from the wholesalers to the retailers in the kitchen market. All these three phases were not taken into account by the government," said a rice trader in Karwan bazar.

He said that the rice prices did not go down despite the massive harvest of boro last month there is almost zero possibility of any significant fall in rice prices in near future.

It is apprehended that due to the bad weather and the rise of the fertiliser prices, farmers might charge higher prices for their harvested paddy to ensure their capital for the rice production in the ensuing season.

Prices of coarse rice rose up by at least Taka two per kg while the prices of fine rice were up by at least Taka one per kg.
Prices of pulse marked a record rise with an increase of Taka at least 15, flour Taka 2 per kg, beef Taka 10 per kg, and mutton price rose by Taka 5 per kg.

Prices of all variety of vegetables were increased and according to the retailers consistent rain and adverse weather pushed the price of the vegetables up.

Prices of green chili jumped from Taka 10 to Taka 12, onion from Taka 16 to Taka 24, garlic from Taka 24 to Taka 36, salt from Taka 14 to Taka 15 and two litre pack edible oil from Taka 228 to Taka 233.

The abnormal price hike made the lives of the common people miserable. "Our income has gone up by five per cent on an average in the last two years but the prices jumped by almost 100 per cent," said a second class government employee.

But our condition is the worst as we have seen zero per cent rise in income, said Mokbul Hossain a retired government officer living in Khilgaon area of the capital.

"After retirement I used to get Taka 15 thousand per month from the FDR I deposited in 2004. It was all right in the context of the then market price but now I can not pass the month despite curtailing a number of costs," he said adding that after paying the house rent of Taka 7 thousand per month for his four member family he had to pass sleepless nights contemplating how to pass the rest of the month.

The rise in prices are pressing ‘once solvent’ people like us towards poverty, he added.

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