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Sylhet Kitchen markets take Ramadan heat

10Despite assurance by the authorities concerned that there will be no price hike ahead of Ramadan, the prices of a few essential commodities have already marked a rise at the retailer level in the capital.
Visiting several kitchen markets in the  Sylhet city, the correspondent found that the prices of chickpea, lentil, onion, garlic, ginger, spices and date, which are largely consumed during the holy month, have increased by Tk 5- Tk 10 per kg since the uptrend began ahead of holy Shab-e-Barat earlier this month, The prices of rice, edible oil, sugar, wheat, eggs, and vegetables remained stable unlike that of meat which has already been overheated.
At Khaligat,Bondor Bazar kitchen markets, chickpeas of varying qualities are selling at Tk 62-Tk 67 per kg while different qualities of lentils at Tk 85-Tk 120 per kg, sugar at Tk 40-Tk 45 per kg; edible oil at Tk 95-Tk 100 per litre.
Onion price has increased by Tk 5-Tk 10 over the last one and half week. Now it is selling at Tk 48-Tk 55 (local) and Tk 43-Tk 45 (Indian). Garlic is selling at Tk 110 per kg (local) which was Tk 10 less two weeks ago. Ginger price hit Tk 148-Tk 150 per kg, hiked by Tk 8-Tk 10 compared to the price of the last month.
There has been a noticeable rise in the prices of beef and goat meat, as goat meat is selling at Tk 500-Tk 550 per kg while beef at Tk370-Tk 390 a kg.
According to butcher shops, the beef price is totally out of their control as the supply of cows from the neighbouring India has reduced substantially in recent times.
Anwar Hossain, a Teacher at city’s Dakshin Surma area, said, “Ramadan is coming, the demand of beef will increase significantly within a few days. But we have a little supply of cows; I think the price of beef will increase further if India does not open its boarder for cow import into Bangladesh.”
Fukon, a Employer in Bondor Bazar area, said fish prices has also increased by Tk 15-Tk 50 per kg on average.
No fish except Telapia, Pangash and Koi is selling under Tk 200.  Telapia is selling at Tk 145-Tk 165 per kg, while Ruhi at Tk 250-Tk 350, Katla at 300-Tk 450 and Pangsha at Tk 160-Tk 180.
Almost all kinds of vegetables are selling from Tk 20 to Tk 40, though the price of Ramadan specialty aubergine has been hiked by Tk 15 and selling at Tk 50 in the kitchen markets over the last couple of days.
Meanwhile, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has started selling edible oil, pulse, sugar, chickpea and date in open market from June 4 to ensure smooth supply of essentials during Ramadan.
The TCB is selling oybean oil at Tk 89 per litre, sugar at Tk 37 per kg, lentil at Tk 103 per kg, chickpea at Tk 53 per kg and date at Tk 80 per kg at the TCB.
As every year, the government had earlier assured that the commodity prices during the holy month will not increase.
DC of Sylhet Md. Shohidul Islam at a meeting with traders on June 13at SCCI has assured that the prices of essentials will remain stable during Ramadan as the commodities are adequately stocked to meet the increased demand.
He also warned the market manipulators saying, “Such activities won’t bring you any good. So, please don’t create unnecessary problems.” But, consumers say, all the warnings went in vain.