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Uncontrolled rice price hike hits poor, fixed income people

14 August 2022

Staff Reporter  :
The uncontrolled prices of the rice are going to choke the poor and the fixed income people as its market has become volatile due to the negative impact of the fuel price hike and lack of effective monitoring.  
Within a gap of one week, the per kilogram rice of different varieties has been increased by five take to Tk 15.  
The coarse rice prices have shot up by five taka per kilogram and the fine rice price increased by Tk 15.
Under the excuse of fuel price rise, dollar crisis and flood, the businessmen have slapped a rise of rice price.
The retailers on the other hand alleged that the millers have stored rice in the hope of making more profit and it has triggered the price hike of the rice.
The needy and the middle income families are now in anxiety how they will cope with this uncontrolled price hike of rice, which is the main foodstuff on their tables.
People have already been battered by the price hike of other vegetable items and cooking stuffs like oil and baby foods.
Even the fruit market has also gone awry because of exorbitant price hike of each fruit by Tk 30 to Tk 40 in per kilogram.
Fruits which are considered as the nutrition source for bolstering the immune system of the body are now going beyond the reach of the poor and the fixed income people. Even the patients largely depend on fruits for their recovery from illness and the old people consume it for keeping good health.
Now they said that they are failing to afford fruits when the prices of rice and other essentials are going out of their reach to fulfill their nutrition. Nayem Ahmed, a seller of fuffed rice in Mirpur, said, "I have five members in my family. I need some two kilogram rice daily. Last week I bought one kg rice by Tk52 but today I bought it by Tk58."
"My income is limited. Prices of every essential item are up. How will we survive?" he said.
The price of coarse rise in the capital on Saturday was Tk 50 to Tk 52 while the Swarna rice was sold by Tk57-Tk58.  
Before the price hike of fuel, the prices of these two varieties were Tk46 and Tk 52 respectively.
The BR-28 and BR-29 are being sold by Tk 60 to Tk 62. Miniket is being sold by Tk70 to Tk75 while the Najirshail at Tk 75 to Tk90. The aromatic rice price has also been increased by Tk 10 to Tk20.
The prices of all varieties of rice have been increased by Tk 10 to Tk 15 within a gap of one week, the sellers of different city markets said.
Rice businessman of the Bhai Bhai Enterprise at Mahakhali Sumon Patwari said that the prices of rice have been increased by Tk 200 to Tk 300 for 50kg sack.  
"Earlier per sack Paijam rice was Tk2400 but now its price is Tk2650. I buy per kilo rice by Tk55 and sell it by Tk57 to Tk58. Thus the prices have increased," he noted.
Another businessman in Gulshan said that the per sack miniket price was Tk 3350 but now it was Tk3550. The buying price of per kilogram miniket rice is Tk73 and it is being sold by Tk75 to Tk78 per kilo.
Just a week ago, per kilogram of miniket rice was Tk65, the businessman said.
Seller of Chatkhil Rice Agency in Karwan Bazar Sultan Ahmed said, "The rice price has become volatile because of the fuel price hike. The transport cost has gone up. The millers have hiked the price to avoid loss. So we are helpless but to increase the price."
The price hike of the rice has ultimately affected the poor and the middle income families.
In order to keep the rice market stable, the government has reduced the tariff and allowed to open LCs for import. Though the government has allowed importing more than 10 lakh metric tonnes of rice but the import is inadequate. According to Food Ministry, only 19 thousand metric tonnes of rice has been imported so far.
Despite government various initiatives including running drives in different times to keep the market stable, people did not get its benefits.
The government said that action would be taken if anyone store rice illegal to create crisis.
But the needy and the middle income people said that they are the victims amid this price hike.

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