The government on Tuesday increased the retail price of potato by Tk 5 to Tk 35 a kg responding to the demand of the traders amid an unexpected hike in price of the commodity.
Following a meeting with the traders and owners of cold storages, the Department of Agricultural Marketing announced the new price of potato.
The wholesale price of potato has been increased to Tk 30 a kg and the cold-storage-gate price to Tk 27 a kg, DAM director Dewan Ashraful Islam confirmed New Age.
Earlier, the Department of Agricultural Marketing under the agriculture ministry on October 7 fixed the maximum retail price of potato at Tk 30 a kg to check the soaring price of the essential commodity when the price reached Tk 40-Tk 42 a kg.
The DAM had also fixed the wholesale price of potato at Tk 25 a kg and the cold-storage-gate price at Tk 23 a kg.
Despite setting prices by the government, potato was being sold at Tk 45-60 a kg in the city markets with the pretext of a high price of the item at the cold storage level.
Potato almost disappeared from the city’s kitchen markets on Tuesday as the wholesalers stopped selling the item from Monday protesting at the drive of law enforcement agencies in the market.
Wholesalers at Karwan Bazar in the city said that they had no stock of potato as the traders were not buying the items from cold storage due to the high prices.
‘The government has set the potato prices at Tk 23 a kilogram for cold storage level but it is being sold at Tk 35-38 a kg. It is not possible for the wholesalers to sale the item at Tk 25 a kg after buying at Tk 38 a kg,’ Mosharraf Hossain, a wholesaler, said on Tuesday.
He said that they had been forced to buy potato from cold storage at high prices and at the same time traders had been faced mobile court.
Maksud Alam, a retailer at Mohammadpur Nobodoy Bazar, said that there was no potato in the kitchen markets as wholesale supply remained stopped.
He said that wholesalers of Mohammadpur Krishi Bazar kept their stock of potato empty due to the high prices at the cold storage level and to avoid mobile court.