Living cost in capital increased by 8.44pc in 2017

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DHAKA, Jan 2, 2018 (BSS) – The living cost in the capital registered a rise by 8.44 percent in 2017 due to mainly the hike in the prices of essential commodities and the charges of utility services, according to Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB).

“CAB has scrutinizsed the data of 15 kitchen markets, 114 food products, 22 essential items and 14 utility services,” said CAB president Golam Rahman at a press briefing at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) here today.

Rahman came up with 10-point recommendation including formation of a separate department of ‘Supply and Price’ under Commerce Ministry or creation of a new ministry to control the prices of daily essentials.

As an alternative measure a separate wing can be set up at the Prime Minister’s Office headed by an adviser to control the prices of daily essentials.

He also recommended recasting the House Rent Act 1991 and forming a House Rent Commission to protect the rights of tenants.

He suggested introduction of ‘contract growing system’ on experiment basis to procure rice directly from farmers during harvesting of paddy to keep the rice price stable and ensure fair price for farmers.

According to the CAB, prices of commodities and services marked a rise by 7.17 percent in 2017 which was 6.47 percent and 5.81 percent respectively in 2016.

Rice price increased by 20.40 percent, especially the price of coarse rice went up excessively, vegetables by 24.28 percent, liquid milk by 20.36 percent and beef by 19.72 percent. Locally produced onion price marked a sharp 40.99 percent rise. House rent went up by 8.14 percent in 2017.

However, prices of pulses, egg, potato and garlic witnessed a fall in 2017. Prices of locally produced ‘masur dal’ declined by 7.67 percent while the imported one by 12.24 percent, egg by 6.43 percent, coconut oil by 5.78 percent, potato by 4.45 percent and garlic by 4.36 percent.

Although the price of power increased in 2017, the overall power supply witnessed a revolutionary change in the recent years as the power generation and number of consumers have become double, said CAB.

The living cost in 2016 rose by 6.47 percent in the capital.