Dhaka, Bangladesh
Control price spiral

Control price spiral

Market has become again volatile ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. This phenomenon is nothing new in our country. Before any festival the cartels become too active and combine to make windfall profit. Customers are held hostage to the traders’ trick to mint big quick buck by abnormal price hike. Morality, honesty have become now a matter of bygone age in business. The guiding principles of business – honesty, hard work, devotion to work have been banished from the field of business. Even the religious edicts of sacrifice are bypassed for making huge profit. The prices of essential commodities have gone into a tailspin. To begin with syndicates have chosen onion as their first move to hike prices. In a span of just a week onion has registered a price hike of at least Taka 20 per kg. But the supply does not run short in the market. Onion is generally imported from India, where the prices of the commodity have not increased; nevertheless a vicious cartel has raised the onion prices abnormally on the feeble pretext of supply shortage. Consumers fear this trend of high rise in prices will not decline till the Eid. Prices of spices zoom well ahead of festivals and it makes no exception this year too. Spice prices are also beginning to rise. Market in our country has a regular proclivity towards price hike even on flimsy excuses. All the exhortations of the political bigwigs fell on the deaf ears of traders who are adamant to raise prices. We may cite the instance of rice price hike. Rice is the staple diet in our country. From the very beginning of the year rice price was raised phase by phase. Rice price rise at one stage went beyond the purchasing power of the common man. The unprecedented price hike of coarse rice this year was never experienced. The traders attributed the inflated prices of rice to crop damage in haor areas and attack of blast disease on paddy field. Even the decision to import rice to overcome the crunch failed to create any favourable impact on the market. The import duty cut could not rein the greed for unreasonable profit by traders in. Rice price in local market still sees no sign of fall. Thanks to the unholy nexus of mill owners and traders stability in rice market could not be restored. The unbridled price spiral can tell upon the popularity of the government. Draconian measures for market control and monitoring only can save the situation. Moreover, a countrywide permanent market management system should be built without delay.

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