A rumour has spread about the price hike of salt at different parts of the country including Dhaka.
Consumers were seen thronging the shops in different parts in Dhaka’s Karwan Bazar, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dinajpur and Bogura today for buying and stocking salt following the rumour that the price of salt is soaring up.
Meanwhile, the government urged all not to get confused with the rumour, saying the current salt reserve is much more than the country needs.
Misleading information over salt stock and price is being spread by an unscrupulous group, said Bangladesh Small & Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC).
In Dhaka, people from all walks of life gathered at grocery shops in different kitchen markets to buy salt following as the rumour.
Some people bought four to five kg of salt against their monthly demand of one kg, our staff correspondent found the scenario while visiting Mirpur Shah Ali City Corporation Market this afternoon.
Abul Hossain, the owner of Mehedi Store of the market, told the correspondent that he stocked two cartons of salt to sale it over the week but the stock was finished by this afternoon following the rumours.
A woman, who came to the market from Gudaraghat area, said she heard from her neighbour that the price of salt will go up like the onion and thus she rushed to the market.
In Sylhet, following the rumour, the people started gathering to their nearby stores since Monday evening to buy salt believing that the price of this essential will be going high like onion.
Sylhet district administration, however, issued a statement on its official Facebook page urging people not to get confused with the rumour.
Separate mobile courts fined 19 traders Tk 165000 in Gowainghat upazila and Sylhet city, Barlekha upazila in Moulvibazar and Chhatak upazila in Sunamganj for selling salt at a high price.
M Kazi Emdadul Islam, the deputy commissioner of Sylhet, said, “We held a meeting on Tuesday morning with all concern authorities including with salt traders in Sylhet to control the rumour”.
“So far, the country has 6.5 lakh tonnes of salt in stock and there is no way of price hike of salt. Yet, some people tried to spread the rumour to create instability in the market. We are looking for the people who started the rumour,” he said.
In Chattogram, a huge number of people from different classes and professions thronged Kazir Dewri and Chakbazar kitchen markets this noon and started buying salt beyond their consuming capacity.
On average a customer bought at least eight to 10 kg of salt against their monthly demands of one kg, a shop owner told our local correspondent.
At one stage, the traders apprehended that it may create an artificial crisis in the market and thus they started selling of salt only one to two kg to each consumer.