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CAB: Cost of living in Dhaka increased 6% in 2018

  • Published at 11:45 pm January 12th, 2019
File photo of a shopkeeper selling commodities in Dhaka

The information was disclosed in a CAB report

The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) reported on Saturday that the cost of living in Dhaka, in terms of retail goods and services, went up by 6% last year.

The information was disclosed in a CAB report on the cost of living, not accounting for the cost of education, medical care or transport, revealed at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity, reports UNB.

CAB Chief Ghulam Rahman said the report included data on 114 food products from 15 retail markets and 22 regularly used goods.

To prepare the report, CAB took into account the cost of 14 services including gas, electricity and water.

Prices of essential commodities and services rose by 5.19%, he said while reading out the report.

The cost of living had increased by 8.44% in 2017 and the price of commodities and services had gone up 7.17%, Ghulam added.

According to the report, there was a 2.44% decrease in the rate at which the cost of living increased.

Ghulam said they calculated the cost of living by comparing the basket size of goods and services purchased by consumers and comparing it to the total cost of the family's basket according to weight.

"The organization did not have sufficient capacity to calculate their total cost of living because most Bangladeshis live in rural areas. But the report will paint a partial picture of the situation in the capital," he said.

Ghulam said cost of living won't be problem if people's income increased.

According to the CAB report, soap prices increased the most in 2018 - by 20% as compared to prices in 2017. Rice prices increased by an average of 8.91%, fish 13.50%, vegetables 9.38%, betel leaves 7.18% and milk 13.33%.

On the other hand, the prices of pulse, salt, spices and sugar fell in 2018 compared to 2017. The cost of edible oil, powdered milk, electricity, gas, fuel and rail fare were unchanged.

Prof Shamsul Alam, energy adviser to the organization, said the country's consumers paid nearly Tk1,13,999 crore in import duties in the last year, which is much higher than in neighbouring countries.

However, a 25.64% tariff was imposed on imports to Bangladesh in 2017. The average tariff rate in Southeast Asia in 2016 was 4.74%.

The CAB report recommended the establishment of work-oriented education, a price stabilization fund, decreasing default loans in the banking sector, priority for farmers, and decreases to electricity and gas prices.

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