Essentials getting pricier again
Prices of eggs, rice, vegetables and flour have risen in the capital's kitchen markets again, increasing the burden on those with limited incomes.
These essential items decreased in price last week, said traders and customers.
One of these correspondents visited kitchen markets in Mirpur-11, Kazipara, Shewrapara and Karwan Bazar yesterday, and found fine rice being sold at Tk 66 per kg, up Tk 4 from last week.
Coarse rice rose by Tk 1-2 per kg.
Md Jashim, owner of Mokbul Rice Agency in Mirpur, told The Daily Star that every variety of rice has become more expensive.
"This week the price of fine rice rose by Tk 4 per kg while coarse rice also saw a rise of Tk 1 or Tk 2," he said.
Rice traders said they lowered the price of rice last week in anticipation of rice to be imported from India, but hiked it again this week as price of imported rice was higher than the local variety.
Broiler chicken also got dearer, with its price going up from Tk 165 per kg last week to Tk 180 per kg this week.
Md Shahabullah, owner of Ma Safia Chicken Store at Karwan Bazar, told this newspaper that the supply of chicken is poor, leading to a rise in price.
"We usually get supply from Kaptan Bazar and Tejgaon. The traders there attributed the soaring price of broiler chicken to the rising cost of production," he said.
Babul Mia, owner of Raj Flour Mill at Karwan Bazar, said the price of flour rose by Tk 2 per kg due to the crisis of wheat in the market.
"We are selling flour at Tk 50-55 per kg based on quality," he said.
Md Sagor, manager of Al Kora Traders in Station Road in Tejgaon, said the price of eggs shot up over the last three days due to production costs.
"At the wholesale level, 100 eggs are being sold at Tk 1,030, which was Tk 860 two weeks ago," he said.
Vegetable traders at Karwan Bazar said the supply of vegetables dropped in the market due to rain, triggering a price rise between Tk 10 and Tk 20 for every item.
Nasrin Begum, a homemaker from Kathalbagan who visited the kitchen market in Karwan Bazar yesterday, said the prices of a few essentials dropped over the last two weeks but that did not last long.
"We are struggling to buy all items on our shopping list due to the tumultuous nature of the kitchen markets. Last week, I bought a dozen eggs for Tk 115, providing relief for us but this week it is Tk 145. Broiler chicken was sold at Tk 165 per kg last week; now it is Tk 180 per kg. It's the same case with vegetables," she said.
"I turned up at the market with Tk 2,000. I had to exclude three items from the list due to the volatile price.
"We're a family of five solely dependent on my husband's income, who works as a driver and earns a meagre income of Tk 20,000. House rent, utility bills and price of daily essentials increased over the last four years, but not a single extra paisa was added to my husband's salary. Our hardship is going beyond words," she said in a frustrated voice.
The correspondent yesterday talked to other shoppers, who expressed similar anger and frustration at the price hike of essentials after just a week.