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