A recent visit to the kitchen markets of Khulna, including Rupsha Bazar, revealed that onion prices rose around Tk16-17 per kg, while the prices of other daily essentials like edible oil, sugar and lentil increased by an average of Tk5-10 a kg
Already battered by Covid, soaring prices of daily essentials are further dampening the festive spirit of Khulna city residents ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.
The prices of onions, chickpeas, sugar, lentil and edible oil have all witnessed an upward trend in the district in the past one week. With reduced income, residents say the soaring prices of daily essentials are eating into their family budget.
A recent reality check by UNB at the kitchen markets of Khulna, including Rupsha Bazar, revealed that onion prices rose around Tk16-17 per kg, while the prices of other daily essentials like edible oil, sugar and lentil increased by an average of Tk5-10 a kg.
Residents say they are being forced to loosen their purse string ahead of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which starts mid-April. During the Ramadan month, each day Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
"These days, local traders don't even wait for the festive month to begin. They start hiking the prices of daily essentials a month in advance," said Rezaul Islam, a local resident.
He also urged the local administration to monitor the prices of essentials at all major markets of Khulna throughout the year properly. "This will definitely help stabilise the prices of daily essentials across the city's kitchen markets."
According to Moyna Aktar, another resident, they are going through a difficult time due to the increasing prices of vegetables and other daily staples amid the Covid-induced financial crisis. "Especially, the low- and middle-income groups are the worst hit," she said.
However, when contacted, Executive Officer of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh's (TCB) Khulna office, Md Rabiul Morshed said they have been selling daily essentials, including vegetables, at subsidised rates on a regular basis at seven points of Khulna city.
"Onion is available for Tk15 a kg, sugar for Tk50, red lentil for Tk55 and soybean oil for Tk90 at our points of sale. But we have no specific instructions regarding the upcoming Ramadan season," Rabiul said.