The Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection has said wholesalers are manipulating spice prices, which is also affecting the retail markets.
During market monitoring on Saturday, a team of the directorate found Sathi Enterprise in Moulvibazar selling clove at Tk700 per kg.
According to the commerce ministry, the clove was imported at Tk222, and after imposing all taxes the price is supposed to be Tk411.
After five percent profit for importers, seven percent for wholesalers and 15 percent for retailers are added, the highest retail price should be Tk531 at consumer level.
However, cloves are being sold at Tk700 per kg in the wholesale market and Tk1,000-Tk1,200 in retail markets.
Similarly, said commerce ministry, the price of imported cumin should be Tk256, including taxes and VATs, and in retail markets, the highest retail price should be Tk320, but it is being sold at Tk600.
Among other spices, turmeric is sold at Tk200 instead of Tk135, red chilli at Tk350-400 instead of Tk174, cardamom at Tk4,200-4,500 instead of 3,067, cinnamon at Tk500 instead of Tk138 in retail markets.
Deputy director of Dhaka division of the directorate Monjur Mohammad Shahriar told The Business Standard, "We have met with Moulvibazar traders' association. We have shown them how the price was hiked and asked them to not to manipulate the price. If anyone does not follow the directives, we will bring them to book."
For the first time, commerce ministry, in cooperation with the directorate, has made a list of imported products, and price of a product is crosschecked with the wholesale and retail price.
The directorate officials believe they would be able to bring down the spice price.
Deputy director of the directorate Masum Arefin said, "One of our teams monitors wholesale markets and based on their information, another team evaluates price in retail markets. We have asked sellers not to manipulate the price. We have also fined some sellers."
"We hope the market will be stable gradually. The price of ginger dropped to half at the consumer level," he added.