Prices of potatoes, onions and eggs at kitchen markets in the capital stayed above the capped prices yesterday – even four days after the government had imposed the limits.
During visits to several kitchen markets in the capital on Sunday, The Business Standard found that potatoes were being sold for Tk50 per kg. The wholesale price of onion decreased slightly, but retail price was still Tk85-90 per kg. Besides, egg prices also remained the same as before at Tk12.50-12.92 each.
The government on Thursday fixed Tk35-36 per kg for potatoes, Tk64-65 per kg for onions and Tk144 per dozen for eggs.
Yusuf, a grocer in Rampura, told The Business Standard, "On Sunday morning, I had to buy potatoes for Tk42 per kg. If the wholesale price is not reduced, there is no opportunity to reduce it in retail."
Meanwhile, the price of onion in the wholesale market is reported to be decreasing. But it is still much higher than the price set by the government.
An onion wholesaler in Kawran Bazar said the price of onion decreased by Tk6-7 per kg in the last two days.
Ashraful Alam, an onion wholesaler in the city's largest kitchen market, told TBS, "The price is slowly decreasing. Onion from Pabna is selling at Tk76-77 from Tk82, it may come down to Tk75 by tomorrow."
Faridul Islam, a seller at Segunbagicha kitchen market, stated, "We've had more arguments with customers than sales for two days. We can't lower prices if the wholesale rates don't decrease."
The government last month also fixed Tk130 per kg for loose sugar and Tk135 for packaged sugar.
However, open sugar was still being sold at Tk140-145 per kg yesterday and packed sugar has not been available in the market for a long time.
A few companies dominate the sugar market. Despite discussions and price reduction announcements, there has been no impact on the market. In essence, market oversight has been limited to verbal announcements, experts said.
In this regard, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) President Ghulam Rahman told TBS that the biggest tool to control the market is adequate supply and strict monitoring.
"If there is a gap in any of the two, the market will not come under control. Here too there are deficiencies in some places, due to which the results are not available," he said.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection again conducted raids across the country's kitchen markets yesterday to keep the prices of daily essential products including potatoes, onions, eggs and saline stable and the supply normal.
During the campaign, 82 businesses were fined a total of Tk3,50,500 through market raids in 52 markets by 37 teams across the country.