An overall increase in food price is making consumers seek alternatives in wholesale markets
Monir Hossain, a private job holder, gets all of his weekly kitchen shopping from Karwan Bazar. He lives in South Rajabazar and visits this wholesale market to cut his cost.
"It takes Tk110 to get a kilogram of onions while the price is Tk 90-100 in this market. Getting kitchen items in larger volume helps save money," said Monir on early Friday.
So, there has been an overall increase in the food budget of everyday people. To adjust the extra costs, many of them are seeking alternatives.
Consumers said they are feeling the heat of increasing prices of daily essentials, including rice, sugar, onion, oil, and vegetables.
Sellers from different markets in the capital said the prices of rice increased by Tk 2-5, depending on quality, in the past ten days.
The price of onion has been unstable for the last four months, and a consumer had to spend Tk100-110 on one kg of onion.
The price of packaged edible oil also rose to Tk110, increasing by Tk8 per litre.
Besides, the price of unpackaged soybean oil was around Tk95-100, which was around Tk80-82 a month ago. Whereas the price of lentil was Tk65-125.
Despite an abundance of winter vegetables, the consumers are still paying high prices. The lowest price of any vegetable was Tk40.
Last year, cabbage and cauliflower were sold at Tk20-25, but each of the vegetables is being sold for Tk30-35 this year.
Tomato sold for Tk30-35 last year, but the current price is over Tk50.
Mahfuzur Rahman, resident of Rampura said, the prices of winter vegetables are not as low as the previous year.
Ghulam Rahman, president of Consumer Association of Bangladesh, told The Business Standard, "The consumers are bearing the burden of a price hike at the beginning of the year and food price is the prime concern for them.
"Ramadan is ahead and if there is any shortage of product supply, it will cause more trouble. The government needs to take measures from now on or it would be tough to control the market."
Meanwhile, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh and two other organisations have been ordered to import 2 lakh tonnes of onions to prevent instability in onion supply during Ramadan.
A number of organisations work to control the kitchen markets during Ramadan. This year, teams from the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection will monitor the market to check the supply and prevent syndicates.
Monjur Mohammad Shahriar, deputy director of the Directorate, said, "We will start monitoring the market before Ramadan so that none can destabilise the market by hiking prices of the essentials."