Prices of rechargeable fans heat up in Dhaka as power cuts drive demand

Zahangir Alam, a grocer from Dhaka’s Paltan, came to Khwaja Electric Market on Nawabpur Road to buy a rechargeable fan as Bangladesh was blistered by heat with the government bringing back rolling power outages to save costly fuels.

Kazi Mobarak Hossain Staff
Published : 20 July 2022, 08:26 PM
Updated : 20 July 2022, 08:26 PM

“It’s been difficult to sit in the store for an hour [of power cut],” said Zahangir. He was among a rising number of customers of rechargeable fans.

So was Old Dhaka’a Ariful Islam who went to Kaptan Bazar as well to buy a rechargeable light so that his children can study during recurring power cuts.

The customers at Gulistan Stadium Market, Ershad Market in Kaptan Bazar and the wholesale markets in Nawabpur said the shopkeepers raised the prices of rechargeable fans by Tk 800-Tk 1,500 and rechargeable lights by Tk 20-Tk 30, taking advantage of heightened demand.

The Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection fined several price-gouging shops at Bangabandhu Stadium Market in Gulistan for rechargeable fans on Tuesday.

Zahangir said he came to Nawabpur after the shops in Baitul Mukarram Market and Kaptan Bazar asked for more than he expected. He finally bought a fan for Tk 4,900.

The seller, Abdus Salam, admitted the prices of rechargeable fans increased by up to Tk 1,500.

Private firm employee Shariful Islam, however, bought a rechargeable fan and light at higher-than-usual rates in Baitul Mukarram Market to avoid the hassle of travelling up to the Old Dhaka markets. “I’ve bought them no matter what the prices are because it’s been difficult for my children without rechargeable fans and lights.”

Md Rakib, a hawker outside Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, said the demand for fans increased in the last two days. A small fan costs Tk 500 more in this period, according to him.

Md Masud Rana, manager of importer Bismillah Electronics at Nawabpur, and Abu Rayhan, proprietor of Rayhan Electric, said all their rechargeable fans sold out in the last two days.

“It’s natural for prices to go up when the demand is high,” said Rayhan.

Abdul Quadir, a retailer from Mohammadpur, said he came for new stocks as all his rechargeable fans were sold out.

But the high prices confused him. “What if it rains and the weather cools off? I may buy some fans after checking the prices.”