Essential protein item red meats are being sold at prices prohibitive for the commoners at the city markets defying the government's order in this regard for Ramadan.
Visiting different markets and shops on Monday, the FE correspondent noticed that beef and other red meats were traded at their previous high rates, violating the city corporations' directives.
Prices of garlic and ginger also witnessed further rise while most of other essential commodities remained static maintaining their previous high.
The price of beef, a prime red meat and one of the main sources of protein, increased by 12-15 per cent in one month to Tk 550-600 per kilogram.
On May 6, just a day before the beginning of Ramadan month, the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) fixed the beef price at Tk 500-525 a kg.
But the red meat was selling at Tk 525-600 per kg on the day. Most of meat outlets were selling beef at above Tk 550 a kg except some shops at big kitchen markets.
The Dhaka south and the north city corporations also fixed buffalo meat price at Tk 480 a kg, goat (khasi) at Tk 750 a kg, and other red meats, including sheep, at Tk 650 a kg. But the traders were selling khasi at Tk 780-820 a kg ignoring the chart hung by the authorities.
Meanwhile, buffalo meat was selling at Tk 480-500 a kg and goat (khasi) meat at Tk 750-800 a kg on Monday.
Contacted, Secretary General of Dhaka Metropolitan Meat Merchants' Association Rabiul Alam claimed that most of the beef traders, members of their associations, have put up the city corporations price tag and were following the fixed rate.
But beef sellers at lanes and by-lanes of the capital were charging much higher rates for the met in absence of monitoring.
He said that they have been able to force traders to follow the price tag in city corporation-run kitchen markets.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the current price of beef is 22.3 per cent higher compared to that of last year.
Prices of garlic and ginger further increased in the midweek. The costs of the two main cooking ingredients rose by Tk 20 a kg.
Imported varieties of garlic and ginger were sold at Tk 140-160 a kg. However, local garlic price remained static at its previous high of Tk 100 a kg.
Prices of vegetables showed a mixed trend. Prices of snake gourd, sponge gourd and teasel gourd declined slightly as the items were sold at Tk 40-60 a kg.
Papaya price also increased by Tk 10 a kg as was sold at Tk 50-60 on the day.
Brinjal price witnessed a slight decline and sold at Tk 50- 70 a kg.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said government's monitoring should be intensified on the market to control the illogical price hike of essentials like beef.
The commerce ministry and the monitoring teams of the two city corporations should deploy mobile courts and conduct drives to curb price hike, he said.
They also cancel licences of meat traders who were not selling red meats, including beef, at the fixed rate, he added.
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