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Staff Correspondent
The cost of living in Dhaka rose by 6 per cent in 2018, a rate lower than that of 2017, because of hike in prices of rice, vegetables, house rent, electricity, gas as well as other services, said Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB).
Cost of services and products also rose by 5.19 per cent, Ghulam Rahman, president of Consumers Association of Bangladesh said while unveiling an annual report on cost of living in Dhaka at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on Saturday.
However, in comparison to 2017’s 8.44 per cent, the rate in rise of the living cost last year is lower, according to the annual report by CAB.
“In 2017 the cost of living had increased 8.44 percent and the price of commodities and services had increased 7.17 percent.”
This means that there was a 2.44 percentage point decrease in the rate at which the cost of living rose.
The CAB prepared the report by collecting price data from 15 markets in Dhaka on 114 food items and 22 products for daily usage. It also took into account the cost of 14 services including gas, electricity and water to prepare the report.
CAB calculated this cost of living by comparing the ‘basket’ of goods and services purchased by consumers and comparing them to the total cost of the family’s basket according to weight.
Although most Bangladeshis lived in rural areas, the organisation did not have sufficient capacity to calculate their total cost of living, the CAB chairman said.
“However, this report will paint a partial picture of the situation in the city.”
According to the CAB report, the price of most necessities was largely stable in 2018.
According to the CAB report, soap prices rose the most in 2018 when compared to the previous year by a whopping 20 percent. Rice prices rose an average of 8.91 percent, fish 13.50 percent, vegetables 9.38 percent, betel leaves 7.18 percent and milk 13.33 percent.
Compared to 2017, the price of pulse, salt, spices and sugar fell in 2018. Domestic mushur pulse fell 12.43 percent, imported mushur pulse fell 10.84 percent, whole chickpeas fell 3.37 percent, domestic gar fell 20.53 percent and imported garlic fell 32.37 percent.
The cost of edible oil, powdered milk, gas, electricity, fuel and rail fare was largely unchanged.
Asked whether the price hikes were reasonable, Rahman said that the impact of these prices depended on the individual. “If people’s income did not increase in line with inflation it would cause problems,” he said.
“We must focus on increasing income. If incomes increase in line with the cost, then it will be fine.”
CAB’s Energy Adviser Prof Shamsul Alam said consumers paid Tk 1.14 trillion in import duties in the past year, which is much higher than in neighbouring countries. He called for a reduction in the tariff rate.
A 25.64 percent tariff was imposed on imports to Bangladesh in 2017. The average tariff rate in Southeast Asia in 2016 was 4.74 percent. The average for South Asia was 12.19 percent.
They also gave a set of recommendations to the government. Which are-Establish a Consumer Affairs Ministry, Procure rice directly from the farmers and maintain the prices of rice in the markets.
Living cost in Dhaka rises at slower pace: CAB

Staff Correspondent
The cost of living in Dhaka rose by 6 per cent in 2018, a rate lower than that of 2017, because of hike in prices of rice, vegetables, house rent, electricity, gas as well as other services, said Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB).
Cost of services and products also rose by 5.19 per cent, Ghulam Rahman, president of Consumers Association of Bangladesh said while unveiling an annual report on cost of living in Dhaka at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on Saturday.
However, in comparison to 2017’s 8.44 per cent, the rate in rise of the living cost last year is lower, according to the annual report by CAB.
“In 2017 the cost of living had increased 8.44 percent and the price of commodities and services had increased 7.17 percent.”
This means that there was a 2.44 percentage point decrease in the rate at which the cost of living rose.
The CAB prepared the report by collecting price data from 15 markets in Dhaka on 114 food items and 22 products for daily usage. It also took into account the cost of 14 services including gas, electricity and water to prepare the report.
CAB calculated this cost of living by comparing the ‘basket’ of goods and services purchased by consumers and comparing them to the total cost of the family’s basket according to weight.
Although most Bangladeshis lived in rural areas, the organisation did not have sufficient capacity to calculate their total cost of living, the CAB chairman said.
“However, this report will paint a partial picture of the situation in the city.”
According to the CAB report, the price of most necessities was largely stable in 2018.
According to the CAB report, soap prices rose the most in 2018 when compared to the previous year by a whopping 20 percent. Rice prices rose an average of 8.91 percent, fish 13.50 percent, vegetables 9.38 percent, betel leaves 7.18 percent and milk 13.33 percent.
Compared to 2017, the price of pulse, salt, spices and sugar fell in 2018. Domestic mushur pulse fell 12.43 percent, imported mushur pulse fell 10.84 percent, whole chickpeas fell 3.37 percent, domestic gar fell 20.53 percent and imported garlic fell 32.37 percent.
The cost of edible oil, powdered milk, gas, electricity, fuel and rail fare was largely unchanged.
Asked whether the price hikes were reasonable, Rahman said that the impact of these prices depended on the individual. “If people’s income did not increase in line with inflation it would cause problems,” he said.
“We must focus on increasing income. If incomes increase in line with the cost, then it will be fine.”
CAB’s Energy Adviser Prof Shamsul Alam said consumers paid Tk 1.14 trillion in import duties in the past year, which is much higher than in neighbouring countries. He called for a reduction in the tariff rate.
A 25.64 percent tariff was imposed on imports to Bangladesh in 2017. The average tariff rate in Southeast Asia in 2016 was 4.74 percent. The average for South Asia was 12.19 percent.
They also gave a set of recommendations to the government. Which are-Establish a Consumer Affairs Ministry, Procure rice directly from the farmers and maintain the prices of rice in the markets.