Hike in prices of commodities and services led to the increase, it says
The cost of living in Dhaka went up by 6.5% in 2019 due to spiralling prices of different commodities and services, including onions, according to a report of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB).
CAB President Ghulam Rahman released the report on the cost of living and other consumer issues at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Tuesday, reports UNB.
As the report notes, the cost of living in the capital rose by 6% in 2018.
Onions were the much-talked-about kitchen item in the previous year, Ghulam Rahman said, adding: “Prices of locally-grown onions shot up by 49.52% while those of imported ones rose by 71.11% on average in the previous year.”
He stated that vegetable prices went up by 8.13%, broiler chicken by 5.57%, local chicken by 22.50%, beef and mutton by 2.70%, and eggs by 4.85%-4.64%. The price of milk price jumped by 10.33% in 2019.
Besides, prices of spices saw a remarkable hike, the CAB president said, adding that cardamom prices saw a rise by 32.47%-44.21%, ginger by 16.06%, locally-grown garlic by 12.33% and imported ones by 7.16% in the last one year.
He said the rent of low and middle class houses rose by 8.18% on average, while slum rent was up by 9.78% and mess rooms rent increased by 7.91%.
The price of Wasa water also got costlier by 5% in 2019, he said.
Ghulam, however, noted that the prices of some essentials marked a fall last year. Of them, prices of rice fell by 6.15%-19.47% and lentils by 11.12%.
In the just concluded year, electricity tariff and bus and train fares remained unchanged, he said.
“The rate of unemployment among educated people increased by 34.3% last year. Unemployment is growing day by day but thousands of foreign workers are working in Bangladesh,” he added.
The CAB chief said as the government had failed to control the onion market, other businessmen might be encouraged to go for hiking the prices of other commodities in order to make a quick buck. “So, visible punishment is needed to control the market of essential items.”
He demanded that a separate division under the Commerce Ministry or an independent Consumer Affairs Ministry be set up to control the market of essentials.