Currently there is no shortage of rice in the wholesale market. Along with that, the supply system is also completely normal. Still the country’s rice market is unstable. Mainly behind this is the manipulation of the syndicate of mill owners.
Traders of caravan market alleged that prices are being increased by creating artificial crisis through stocking in various mills and warehouses in the northern part of the country. Meanwhile, the Directorate of Consumer Affairs said that it is not looking at the rice market ‘for now’.
On Wednesday, we visited various markets of the capital, including Karwan Bazar, and saw that medium-sized rice (pajam, atash, lata) was being sold at Tk 50-52 per kg. Consumers are buying this rice from retail at Tk 55-56 per kg. And wholesale coarse rice is being sold at Tk 44 per kg, which is being sold at Tk 50 at retail. In the wholesale market Polao rice is Tk 110 per kg, Miniket Tk 72, Aman rice Tk 60, Nazir Shail Tk 78, Kathari Atap rice Tk 80 per kg.
Karwan Bazar rice buyer Swapan Ahmed told Dhaka Times, ‘I can’t live without buying rice. Because we have to sell fish and rice. We have been hit in the core. Increase in prices of all types of daily commodities. There is no relief in this. I think there is still time for a major campaign from the government. All types of syndicates in the market should be caught and fined.
Karwan Bazar rice wholesaler Allaher Dan rice shop owner Md. Abdul Awal Talukdar told Dhaka Times, ‘We who are selling wholesale rice in the capital are very worried. Extortion increases the price. Then we face people’s questions. And consumer rights officials fined us. Since many customers are known, they have to sell at the previous price. Who will understand our suffering? We wholesalers are in dire straits.’
Abdul Awal Talukder told Dhaka Times, ‘Mill owners have made the rice business very complicated. 15 days ago I bought a bag of rice for 2400 taka. But we are selling at the previous price.’
Abdul Awal told Dhaka Times, ‘Customers are our life. Suppose if I sell you a bag of rice for 2200 taka yesterday, and today I sell the same bag of rice for 2600 taka, then you will not call me a man. We are invincible.’
Abdul Awal told Dhaka Times, ‘It is normal that retailers will sell 2/3 taka more. But we don’t know if the surplus is sold at a higher price. Because so far we are selling rice at a limited profit.’
The owner of wholesale rice trader Hawk Rice Agency. Manchur Ahmad told Dhaka Times, ‘Mill owners are a big syndicate. We bought rice from Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Kushtia, Naogaon, Bogra, Dinajpur. Mill owners have been the root cause of syndicates. They suddenly increase the price. Then we have to eat hard.’
Md. Manchur Ahmad told Dhaka Times, ‘The magistrate comes to the rice market of Karwan Bazar every 1/2 days. They check everything in our rice store and fine if there is any problem. But big mill owners don’t care. Because only one thing keeps those stubborn government officials shut with sacks of rice. I think the syndicate of mill owners should be broken first. If the syndicate of mill owners can be broken, relief will surely come in the rice market.’
Kushtia District Rice Mill Owners Association President Abdur Rashid told Dhaka Times, ‘The price of rice in Kushtia has not increased yet. It is being sold at the same price as it was a month and a half ago. We hear that the price of rice is increasing in the market. Our rice from Kushtia is not selling at high price. And the wholesalers of Karwan Bazaar buy rice from Mohammadpur or Kachukshet. But Mohammadpur or Kachukshet wholesalers buy rice from us. 1/2 taka price may be a little higher due to change of hands. We have no syndicate.’
Director General of Consumer Affairs Department AHM Safikuzzaman told Dhaka Times, ‘We are not currently monitoring the rice market.’
Source: Dhakatimes24 Online by www.dhakatimes24.com.
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