RECENTLY a private television channel reported about a huge gap in prices of essentials just within nine kilometers of the city. A product which is sold at Tk. 7.0 per kg at Jatrabari, is sold at Tk. 14 at Hatirpul. The reason, according to sellers is that a section of police and toll collectors contribute to enhancement of price. The traders have often pleaded with the government to restrain the extortionists and the police who extort money from wholesalers, retailers and also from transporters by stopping trucks carrying essential goods on the highways. Ultimately, we -- the common people pay the illegal tolls.
The prices of essentials which had never ceased to rise for about three years past, are leaping up again. Press reports from the kitchen markets show that prices of essentials, including those of different varieties of rice, have registered significant rises over the last week. The uptrend in the price of rice at the time of new harvest is surprising. Not only rice, prices of vegetables, salt, and potato, onion and spices like garlic continue to soar. Prices of fishes and broiler of all kinds have also increased.
The commerce ministry has seen a change of minister. But there was no effect. It is widely believed a syndicate having total blessings from a powerful quarter in the ruling party is responsible for the unabated rise of prices of essentials. The Asian Development Bank also told about it.
The government must look into the causes of price hike of essentials. The syndicate must be uprooted. If the government is ready to show some sincerity, it is still possible.