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4 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Rising living cost

People are indeed very hard-pressed with the rising cost of living and the government ought to address this matter as a top priority
Rising living cost

The cost of living in the capital is increasing exponentially, which has hit the citizens hard. City dwellers are being forced to live with air and noise pollutions, crammed living space with tortuous traffic jams and poor utility services. Added to these existing problems is the spike of the essential prices. Not surprisingly, in a recent survey of South Asia’s cities on cost of living, Dhaka was placed on the top of the list.

However it is possible to check the cost of living. And for that to happen the relevant departments of the government have to proactively handle some critical situations. It is quite apparent that they failed to do the needful.

The recent price rise of most commodities has mainly been caused by the unusual increase of rice price triggered during the last monsoon when rice cultivation at the haor areas and some other places of the country was seriously hampered. If at that time the food ministry could manage to have sufficient stock of rice, the staple food’s price could be kept in check. But the food ministry had miserably failed in this regard.

Increase of rice price had a domino effect on other commodities. The market even resisted the 100 per cent rise in the pay of government employees through the 8th Pay Commission with little inflation. But the market failed to resist the hike of rice price.

There is also a tendency of the country’s finance ministry which is more focused on presenting bigger and bigger annual budget than anything. This forces the government to take more from the people to support the increased budget. Price rise in various utility services including gas, electricity and water over the last few years is a direct result of the ever bigger national budget.

Consequently, it is not just the capital; cost of living has hit hard people everywhere. But the capital’s case is further augmented by the increasing house rent. Besides, the communications ministry has miserably failed to rein in on the city’s all private bus services that overcharges the commuters to the tune of double or treble the actual fare.

That is why the figure of a rise by 8.44 per cent in the year 2017 that the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) recently presented might not be the actual one as it scrutinized only data of kitchen markets, food products, essential items and utility services, including gas, electricity and water. The reality is palpably more acute. People are indeed very hard-pressed with the rising cost of living and the government ought to address this matter as a top priority.  

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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