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Potato price soars high PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 June 2008

Subsidy thru’ TCB could challenge manipulators

It is mysterious that potato price is gradually catching up rice in open market price. If this trend continues, it will mean snubbing those who have been advising the poor to eat potato instead of rice. Why prices go up and never come down or why suddenly items disappear from the markets remains a mystery. Obviously from the Finance Adviser to the ordinary consumers, we have no clues. So, when potato jumped five quick Takas in a single day the only reaction is a long sigh. Not only potato prices ,other kitchen market items have also gone up in the few days following the announcement of the budget. We are expecting two more jolts—20 per cent hike in the dearness allowance of those who draw their salaries from the public exchequer and a hefty rise if the prices of petroleum products. Both will add to the current price spiral. Shops run by the Bangladesh Rifles have raised price of rice by Tk 5 to Tk 30 a kilo In the open markets it is between Tk 35 and 40. Quite possible there is government intervention of some sort. Hike in the DA will mean more money available and hike in fuel prices will mean an all round upswing. The lessons we have learnt during the last eighteen months or so is that our business people are leading in points in their bout with the CG. No measure of the of the government has succeeded in keeping the prices of essentials at reasonable levels. This brings us to the question whether the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh should be reactivated and entrusted with the task of importing and distributing some basic items like rice, wheat, edible oil and a few others. A government that has played hell with scores of powerful politicians arranging this should not be a problem. Subsidy through the TCB will have a sobering effect on the market and throw a challenge to market manipulators.  There is still time for the CG to review some of its decisions.

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