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Bangladesh

Rice prices go up by Tk 2-5 a kg in a week

Although it is the peak season of harvesting rice, prices of the staple food are going up in the capital, dealing another blow to the limited income people who are already struggling to make their ends meet. 

Within a week, prices of fine rice have increased by Tk 2 to 5 per kilogram in retail markets and Tk 100 to 150 per sack [50 kg] in wholesale markets.

Prices of coarse rice also went up by Tk 2 to 3 per kg in retail markets and Tk 40 to 50 per sack in wholesale markets.

 Our correspondents yesterday visited three kitchen markets and some retail stores in the city’s Karwan Bazar, Moghbazar and Mirpur area and found an almost similar hike in rice price.

Retail prices of fine rice stood up at Tk 50 to 54 per kg from about Tk 45 to 48 a week ago. The prices of coarse rice stood at Tk 32 to 35 from Tk 30 to 31 during this period.

Asked about the price hike, the sellers blamed millers and the “rising trend” of paddy price.

The shoppers, however, termed the hike “unusual” and criticised both the sellers and millers for their intention to make extra profit.

 “Aman rice has just been harvested and its processing is going on in full swing. How could the prices of rice increase in such a peak season?” asked Muhammad Kamruzzaman, a shopper in Moghbazar area.

 “We cannot accept the price hike of rice. I think the sellers and millers have formed a syndicate to make some extra profit,” he added.

 Jasim Uddin, a rice seller at Karwan Bazar, said they had nothing to do with the price as they were dependent on the millers.

 “I bought a sack of fine rice at Tk 2,200 a week ago, but now I have to pay Tk 2,450. When I asked the millers about the hike, they told me that the prices of paddy are rising,” he said.

 Apart from rice, the prices of some other daily essentials -- sugar, lentil, mung bean and soybean oil -- also rose Tk 5 to 10 in the last 10 to 15 days.

 Ikramul Haque, an employee of a private company in the city’s Mirpur, said in recent times he had been finding it difficult to maintain his four-member family due to the price hike of daily essentials.

 “A few days ago, onion suffered us a lot; and now it’s rice. I have been going through a situation where I cannot fulfil the demands of my kids in most occasions,” he said.

 “I don’t know when we will get a respite from the price hike,” said Ikramul, while talking to The Daily Star at a kitchen market in Mirpur 7.

Abul Kalam Azad, a retail store owner in the same area, said the government should address the issue of price hike as it creates a misunderstanding between the shopkeepers and customers.

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