Monday, 24 January, 2022

Pain of price hike

Pain of price hike

Popular News

Price hike of everyday essential commodities has become a new normal in Bangladesh. Prices of this or that edible item is increasing almost on a daily basis. Apart from food prices, house rent, utility bills and indirect taxes are also being raised every year, leaving little in the pockets of low and middle-income families to pay for education and health expenses.

A report in this daily on Saturday highlighted the plight of low-income families due to galloping inflation rate. The people are suffering because of the failure of the government to effectively check prices of essential food items such as rice, chicken, vegetables, edible oil, sugar etc.

Rising food prices are a cause for concern for common people all year round, but this time it is all the more painful because of income loss of a large number of people due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This unusual rise in the prices of essential food items is closely linked to the inability of the authorities concerned to deal with market manipulation. 

It is common knowledge that a syndicate is ruling the roost in the market, but no counter mechanism is being taken to keep a tab on the traders. The authorities either played down the issue, or failed to fully realise the unbearable cost of living for millions of low-income citizens.

Ineffective market monitoring, disruption in supply chains, and profiteering by middlemen and hoarders are some of the issues that the authorities need to address immediately to alleviate the pain of surging food prices. We hope the government will show seriousness in containing the prices of essential commodities instead of making rhetoric and leaving consumers high and dry on the ground.

Although the government is trying to help people through open market sales of some goods at subsidized rates for the poorest segments, it is far less than necessary. As long as the government takes effective measures to rein in the galloping inflation of food prices, a majority of the people will continue to suffer silently.