And now it’s edible oil

Prices of essentials keep rising abnormally


After rice, onion, and potato, the unholy nexus of a section of hoarders and traders, is now plotting to make the edible oil market unstable.

Syndicate is creating an artificial crisis although there is an adequate of the kitchen items in the country. However, the government is struggling to put a leash on the rising prices of essentials and protect the commoners from the tyranny of the syndicate.

The Country’s common people have been held hostage by a powerful syndicate as all the anti-price-hike measures have failed to arrest the skyrocketing price of the essentials.

As a ‘powerful syndicate’ comprising a section of hoarders and traders are involved in import, and marketing of essentials in the country, there seems to be no way out to bring down the prices unless there is direct government intervention in curbing prices, experts and common people said.

Recently Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzak said that the mill owners, wholesalers, and intermediaries are involved in various conspiracies simultaneously to make big profits. The government efforts to keep those unholy syndicates at bay continue. 

Following the price hike of rice, onion and potatoes now the syndicates are hiking the edible oil price whereas the government has fixed prices of the essentials commodities recently. Those essentials are still selling at higher prices which are intensifying consumers' sufferings.

Potatoes are now selling at several times higher priecs than the bying prices from farmers. The price of potato could not by any means. Under the circumstances, the Bangladesh Competition Commission under the commerce ministry wanted to know the stock of potato position.  

It has written to the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to find out the stock position of potato in the country's cold storage. The organization has issued the letters to take action in case of illegal stockpiling.

 On the other hand, despite fixing the rice price by the government, still per sack (50 kg) of rice is selling at Tk 250 higher for the past one month. Even after fixing the price of potato twice to prevent manipulation in the market, the people concerned could not implement it. Although the government has fixed the price of potato at Tk 35 per kg at the retail level, it is selling at Tk 45 to Tk 50 per kg. 

Besides, after a meeting of traders with the Commerce Minister on October 22, the government fixed the price of edible oil at the mill level. But this did not lower the price in the wholesale market, loose soybeans in the retail market are now selling at Tk 100 per liter.

However, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder held a meeting with rice mill owners and traders on September 29 to curb millers' manipulation and control prices. There, the price of a 50 kg sack of the best quality Miniket rice (Millgate) was fixed at Tk 2,575 and the price of medium quality BR-28 rice was fixed at Tk 2,250. But the fixed price is not working in the market.