Govt sets prices of 29 commodities

This Focusbangla file photo taken on March 24, 2022 shows that a trader sells beef at a shop at the Shantinagar kitchen market in Dhaka. — Focusbangla photo.

The government on Friday announced the rational prices of 29 agricultural commodities, including broiler chicken, egg, beef, mutton and fish, amid another spell of price hike of almost all the daily essentials in the kitchen markets across the country.

Based on the production costs, the Department of Agricultural Marketing has set the rational wholesale and retail prices of the 29 commodities and urged the traders to comply with the prices, although the traders have largely ignored similar initiatives of the commerce ministry for last couple of years.

The Department of Agricultural Marketing under the agriculture ministry in an announcement said that the prices of the commodities has been set as per section 4 (i) under the Agricultural Marketing Act 2018.

The section of the act said that for carrying out the purpose of this act, the function of the Department of Agricultural Marketing shall be the determination and implementation of the lowest and reasonable price of agricultural produce. 

As per the act, the department has set the rational retail prices for broiler chicken at Tk 175.30 a kilogram, beef at Tk 664.39 a kilogram, mutton at Tk 1,003.56 a kilogram and sonalika variety of chicken at Tk 262 a kilogram.

It has also set the wholesale prices of broiler chicken at Tk 162.69 a kilogram, beef at Tk 631.69 a kilogram, mutton at Tk 952.58 a kilogram and sonalika variety of chicken at Tk 256.10 a kilogram.

Meanwhile, the prices of the commodities have continued to rise in the city markets for the past few weeks with broiler chicken sold at Tk 220–230 a kilogram, beef Tk 750–800 a kilogram, mutton for Tk 1,100–1,200 a kilogram and sonalika for Tk 330–350 a kilogram on Friday.

The department has also set the retail prices of katal fish at Tk 353.59 a kilogram and pangas at Tk 180.87 a kilogram, local onion at Tk 65.40 a kilogram, garlic at Tk 120.81 a kilogram, green chili at Tk 60 a kilogram, aubergine at Tk 49.75 a kilogram and potato at Tk 28.55 a kilogram.

The wholesale prices have been set at Tk 303 for a kilogram of katal fish, Tk 153.35 for a kilogram of pangas, Tk 53.20 for a kilogram of local onion, Tk 94.68 for a kilogram of garlic, Tk 45.40 for a kilogram of green chili, Tk 38.25 for a kilogram of aubergine, and Tk 23.30 for a kilogram of potato.

The department has set the retail prices of gram at Tk 98.30 a kilogram, black gram at Tk 165.41 a kilogram and egg at Tk 10.50 a piece.

Earlier in September 2023, the commerce ministry set the prices of three locally produced food items—egg, potato, and onion—for the first time against the backdrop of soaring prices of the commodities,

but those prices were not implemented for a single day.

In consultation with the importers, the commerce ministry usually sets the prices of imported commodities, including edible oil and sugar, over the years, but the government has often failed to implement the prices even after conducting mobile court in the market.

Amid the high prices of essential commodities, a new spell of price hike took place in the market before starting of Ramadan, the fasting month for Muslims, leaving all the government efforts ineffectual.    

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