City dwellers are being forced to pay more for daily essentials as prices of most of the items are soaring at various kitchen markets in the capital city of Dhaka amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
Wholesalers said rising demand is one of the reasons for the price hike. Additionally, they cannot bring in goods to meet demand due to the lockdown.
The prices of coarse varieties of rice, lentils, potatoes, and onions also have edged up by Tk5 to Tk20 per kilogramme over the last week.
Currently, different kinds of rice, including Nazirshal and miniket are being sold at Tk 55-65 per kilogramme which was Tk50-60 two weeks ago. Medium quality rice is now Tk55 per kilogramme which was Tk50 a week ago.
The price of low-quality rice is now Tk45-Tk50 per kilogramme – up from Tk35-Tk40 two weeks ago.
Ginger topped the list of price hikes, rising up to Tk50 more per kilogramme. Ginger was Tk250 to Tk300 per kilogramme which was Tk220-Tk250 last week.
The price of each kilogramme of lentils has increased by Tk20-Tk40. Indian lentils are being sold for Tk85-Tk90, and had been Tk70-Tk75; while the price of local lentils is Tk120-Tk140, which had been Tk100 last week.
Traders are selling onions for Tk55- Tk65 per kilogramme. A week ago, it was Tk45 and it was Tk30 two weeks back. The price of onions has almost doubled in two weeks.
The price of loose soybean oil has shot up by Tk10 per litre and bottled oil has gone up by Tk5 this week.
The price of loose soybean oil has shot up to Tk 90-95 per litre from Tk80-Tk85 last week.
One liter bottle is being sold for Tk105 to TK115 which was Tk100 to Tk110 last week.
On the retail market, the price of potatoes has risen to Tk25 from Tk20 last week.
While visiting different markets on Friday, this correspondent found that consumers are getting vegetables at lower prices. As of now, the prices of no vegetables cross Tk40 per kilogramme.
While talking to The Business Standard, vendors said the demand of vegetables is low as a large part of residents have left Dhaka.
The fish market in Karwan Bazar is also experiencing its lowest number of customers, and is reducing prices.
On Thursday, law enforcement locked down two sheds of the kitchen market as two traders had tested positive for Covid-19.
However, the majority traders are not aware of the virus. Even traders adjacent to those sheds opened their stalls.
On a visit, a banner was seen hanging from the sheds, which reads, "This area is under lockdown. Using this area is prohibited".
While talking to The Business Standard, Ratan, a trader of the shop adjacent to those sheds, said, "We do not know who tested positive for Covid-19."
"As our stall is not under the shed, we are not barred from keeping our stalls open," he added.