Jun 26, 2012, 12:49 PM
There has been an increase in the prices of basic commodities in the country, as Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan, The Point has discovered.
The issue, which some blame on the depreciation of the dalasi against major foreign currencies, has implications for majority of the citizens, especially those receiving a minimum monthly salary.
This paper went out and about to hear from people concerning their views on the current market standards and prices of essential commodities in the country.
According to our own findings, the price of sugar, which was below D1,200 prior to the Ramadan is now being sold at D1,300 or even more than that in certain places; the price for steak, which was pegged at D115 is now D130 or more, while that of meat and bone, which was D100, is now D110 or more.
Findings also revealed that the 20 litre gallon of oil, which was D800 is now being sold at D950; while a bag of onions, which was D500, is now being sold at D600.
Our findings also revealed that there is scarcity of potatoes in the market.
Many businesspeople whom we spoke to called for reduction of customs duties on imported foodstuff. They said high duties and taxes are responsible for the recent hike in prices of commodities.
Some people have also acknowledged the difficulties they are facing, regarding the prices of the necessities of life.
In the view of Fatou Marong, a vendor at the Serrekunda market, the increase in the prices of basic commodities has affected many households as many people cannot afford to buy food at the new prices.
She said many people, if not all, use sugar during Ramadan; hence the high price is difficult to afford. She also added that fuel is used every day, especially those who depend on it as a source of energy for light.
Agie Sowe, who described the increase in the prices of basic commodities as “serious”, expressed fears that most families cannot afford the commodities needed during Ramadan.
“I thought that prices would go down during this holy month, but to our surprise prices are skyrocketing now,” she added.
Haddy Sanyang, Awa Sarr and Isatou Corr all expressed their displeasure at the increase in the prices of basic commodities, and called on the business community to put people first before their profits.