Staff Correspondent: Experts have suggested that the government’s uninterrupted strict market monitoring both at wholesale and retail levels can contain the price hike of daily essentials, blaming the global pandemic and recent Russia-Ukraine war for rising price of commodities.
They also stressed imposing ban on hoarding of essential commodities, motivating people not to buy excess fearing crisis along with activating regulatory system for market supervision to bring down prices of the essentials at tolerable level.
The experts’ opinion came as the prices of some essential commodities are seen hike in city’s kitchen markets.
Some commodities including rice, edible oil, atta, lentils, onion, fish, meat and eggs have soared to some extent recently.
According to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the rice price has slightly increased for last one year but the price of other commodities mainly atta, maida have soared between 25 percent and 36 percent while soyabean 24 percent to 46 percent.
Prices of some essentials are also even being found varying from one market to another market in the city.
At the city markets, soyabean oil was seen to be sold at Tk 170 per liter, mustard oil at Tk 220 per liter, beef at Tk 620-650 per kg, mutton at Tk 950-1000.
The government must keep watch on the supply chain of food items like rice, atta, lentil and soyabean oil, said former planning commission member Prof. Dr Sattar Mondal.
The noted economist, however, attributed the price hike of essentials in the country to global pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war. But, he also emphasised that the government should ensure smooth supply of the commodities in the market.
The government needs to make mass people conscious as they do not go for ‘excessive buying’ of essential commodities because such ‘panicked buying’ can make the situation worse, he added.
As the price of edible oil shows upward trend, a section of wholesalers have stockpiled huge quantities of soyabean oil through underhand dealing with the oil importers companies, alleged retailers of some city grocery markets.
“I have put an order for ten cartons or 40 bottles of 5-liter soyabean oil to the importer company recently but the company informed me that they have no stock,” Siddiqur Rahman, a retailer of Islam Traders located at Barobagh Bazar of Mirpur-2.
He said he got two cartons of soyabean oil from another company but it was sold within an hour.
Another retailer Monayem Khan of Emran store of Mirpur-2 said he gave an order for 20 cartons of oil to the importer company, but he was supplied only two cartons.
As some buyers attributed the price hike to hoarding essentials, retailers denied of stockpiling at their levels but admitted that there can be some incident of stockpiling at wholesale level.
“There is no stock of soyabean oil at the retail level, but stock can be made at the wholesale level,” said M Zahidul Islam alias Zahid, a retailer of Zahid general store of Kawran Bazar in Tejgaon area.
Some dishonest wholesalers have made a ‘syndicate’ and have hoarded daily essentials, alleged Mohammad Masum of Mayer Doa General Store at Kawran Bazar.
Noted economist Dr Quazi Kholiquzzaman opined that the government must take tougher action against any irregularities in the markets so that no one can create any artificial crisis.
He also put importance on government’s continue monitoring and revitalizing the state arm TCB to keep controlling the price of daily commodities.
Former central bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman however, suggested the government for preparing a contingency plan on imported products from the international market considering the Russia-Ukraine war as the long term war could affect the supply of the imported products.
The government must lay emphasis on promoting cultivation of mustard, which could be an alternative to the soyabean oil, he said, adding that, “The government must tighten monitoring for smooth supply of products in local markets.”
“Boosting market monitoring is urgently needed so that none can manipulate the commodity prices because people, especially the low-income group, become victim of the situation,” he added.
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