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Corporate - February 6, 2023

Consumer product price hiked 60pc ahead of 2-month of Ramadan

Mahfuz Emran: Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission, a government agency, said that due to the increase in the value of the dollar, the price of imported goods will be about 30 percent higher this year. However, another government organisation, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), says that one month and 17 days before fasting, the price of imported goods is about 60 percent higher than last year. However, ginger is being sold at a maximum price of 111 percent. And the traders say, if LC complications in imports are not removed, the price of goods will increase during Ramadan at the skyrocket.
Meanwhile, in such a situation, folds of thought have started falling on the forehead of the buyer. They say that the prices of all kinds of products increase when fasting comes. That is being done this time too. However, compared to last year, the prices of all types of products have doubled to triple this time. But the income did not increase.
Recently, the National Directorate of Consumer Protection organized a meeting to stabilize the supply and price of essential commodities. Deputy Director Mahmudul Hasan of Tariff Commission said that due to the increase in the value of the dollar, the price of imported goods will be about 30 percent higher this time. Such a situation will prevail in the country even if the price of the product does not increase in the international market. It will not increase more.
But a review of TCB’s price list on Sunday showed that imported garlic was selling at 63.64 per cent higher per kg during the year. Imported dry chilies are being sold at 63.93 per cent higher per kg. Besides, imported ginger is selling at the highest rate of 111.11 percent, cumin 94.44 percent, clove 39.53 percent, powdered milk 40 percent, sugar 50.33 percent, anchor dal 47.96 percent per kg. Price of essentials have hiked about 60 percent on an average.
When asked to know, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) President Golam Rahman said that the price of all kinds of products is higher this year than last year. There are some logical reasons for that too. But there are irrational reasons too. Among them is the tendency of traders to make excessive profits. When fasting comes, they create instability in the market. Two months before the start of fasting, the price of goods increases. He did that this time too. By holding the customer hostage, they have started looting huge profits. It seems that the increase in the price of goods during this fasting period will make the buyer hungry.
According to TCB sources, imported ginger is being sold at Tk 280 per kg in the market, which was sold at Tk 120 before fasting at the same time last year. Imported garlic is being sold at Tk 200 per kg, which was sold at Tk 120 at the same time last year. Dry chilies are being sold at Tk 550 per kg, which was Tk 350 earlier. Turmeric was sold at Tk 200 per kg, which was Tk 180 earlier.
Cumin, which was sold at Tk 420 per kg before fasting last year, is now being sold at Tk 750. Cinnamon is being sold at Tk 450 per kg at Tk 380. Cloves which were sold at Tk 1150 are currently selling at Tk 1600. Last year before fasting, packed milk powder was sold at Tk 620-680 per kg. But currently selling at Tk 820-900. Sugar sold at Tk 78 per kg is now selling at Tk 120. Anchor dal was sold at Tk 75 per kg, which was Tk 50 earlier.
Chickpeas were sold at Tk 90 per kg, which was Tk 80 at the same time last year.
Retailers said, we are not responsible for increasing the price of products. We have to buy products at higher prices. Bringing it at a higher price and selling it to the buyer at a higher price. Importers are increasing the price which is increasing. Manipulation is what they do.
The product importers of the capital’s Shyambazar said that if the LC is not normalized in the import of ginger-garlic, the price will increase further. The value of the dollar has gone up a lot. LC can’t be opened in bank. It’s too complicated. In this situation, in view of the upcoming month of Ramadan, we should remove the LC complications and increase the import of goods by withdrawing the duty. If products cannot be imported from now then the price of products will increase during Ramadan.
Nazer Hossain, the vice president of CAB, said that the businessmen always come up with different excuses to increase the prices. Once said, the dollar is a problem. Again, he said, the Ukraine-Russia war situation is increasing the price. Now again the LC problem is brought up as an excuse. Because LC has to be done two to three months before product arrival. Accordingly, the goods required for Ramadan have already arrived at the port.
When asked to know, Manzoor Mohammad Shahriar, director of the National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate, a market monitoring organization, told that the market monitoring is continuing in the upcoming month of Ramadan. It will be strengthened. Every year during Ramadan, the market becomes unstable due to some unscrupulous traders. The consumer department will take a strict stand against these dishonest traders in the upcoming month of Ramadan.

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