Govt sets prices of egg, potato, onion, but success is in doubt


There is now the question before us whether the government would be able to force the business people to sell the three locally produced food items – egg, potato, and onion – at the prices it fixed against the backdrop of soaring prices of the commodities.

Declared on Thursday, there is no effect on the prices of these items on the markets yesterday.

None of the three items was available at the maximum retail prices the government fixed: egg at Tk 12 a piece, potato at Tk 35-36 a kilogram and locally grown onion at Tk 64-65 a kilogram.

There is hardly any instance when the government could implement its fixed prices. Transport fare is one such example.

Private bus services hardly take the actual price from the commuters even after introduction of the e-ticketing system.

The CNG-run auto rickshaws fleece the passengers more than the others as they do not go by the price meter.

For a distance that can actually be covered by paying Tk 200 according to the fare fixed by the government, these auto rickshaws charge from the passengers double, or even treble, that fare.

Though, according to the rule, the CNG-run auto rickshaw must go where a commuter wants to, but the ground reality is, one has to depend on the choice of a CNG-driver to go to his destination.


If he agrees, only then it is possible to hire an auto rickshaw.

For about three years now, high food inflation has made the lives of middle class people unbearable, let alone those who belong to the lower tiers of society in economic terms.

Facing criticisms of irrational price hike of commodities apparently by business syndicates, the government has taken this decision of fixing the price of egg, potato and onion.

The normal practice is when the price of a commodity rises unusually in the market the government allows import of that commodity so that its price drops.

The TCB’s truck sale also brings down substantially the price of an item.

However, it is too early to comment on whether the commerce ministry would be successful in implementing its decision on the prices of egg, onion and potato.

If within a week, it is not materialized, and chances are little that it would, this would go down as another example of the government’s failure to control businesses according to its decisions.

In a country where businessmen turn politicians and a corrupt government stays in power forcibly without a vote and allows corruption of public officials, one can hardly expect that the commodity market would behave ethically and rationally.