Fixed income group and lower middle class people are struggling to cope with soaring prices of edible oil, rice, flour, eggs, onions, sugar, lentils, meat and fish.

Though the Directorate of National Consumers Right Protection (DNCRP) is focusing on controlling the price of edible oil, other commodities are selling at a higher price.

Without any valid reason prices of these are being hiked twice in a week, said advocate Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan, General Secretary, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB).

"Soybean prices are being discussed and criticized across the country for various reasons such as shortage of supply, stockpiling, manipulation of mill owners, high profitability of sellers. The government should work to monitor and make decisions on the situation on the ground," he told UNB.

The reality is not just edible oil, prices of all products are going up, he said.

The non-governmental organization Consumers Forum (CF) has analyzed the wholesale market from January to March this year.

According to the CF, wholesale prices of all commodities rose by an average of 7.33 percent in March compared to January, in some cases the price increased 2 to 20 percent in this period. The price hike trends till upward.

The reason for the hike in commodity prices is the rising trend of prices in the global market, but the prices of locally produced products have also gone out of control, CF observation said.

CF general secretary Emdad Hossain Malek said, "Traders' syndicate is responsible for the instability in the commodity market."

"When the demand and supply of goods are left to the free market economy, a few dishonest profiteering traders irrationally increase the prices of daily commodities," he said.

According to the CF, mustard oil is at its peak in March compared to January. The price of the product has increased by an average of 22.63 percent. The fine quality lentils has increased by 20.1 per cent.

The price of salt has gone up by 16 per cent and that of packaged powdered spices by 13.37 per cent. Rice prices have risen by 7.16 per cent.

Ata, flour and semolina prices rose by 1.24 per cent. Price of pulses have increased by an average of 4.25 per cent.

During this period, the price of medium quality (large seed) lentils increased by 1.11 per cent and that of mug pulses increased by 5.16 percent while sugar prices rose to 1.71 percent.

The price of toothpaste has increased by 4.55 per cent. The price of noodles and soup has increased by 2.15 percent. The price of powdered milk has increased by 7.69 per cent.

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