Inflation, price of essentials: 24 eminent citizens express concern

Inflation, price of essentials: 24 eminent citizens express concern

Twenty-four eminent citizens today expressed concern over inflation and the hike in prices of daily essentials including eggs and potatoes in the country.

In a statement, they said prices of food products have reached an unbearable level in the past year, hoping the government will take effective measures to control the situation.

In August, prices of food products increased by 12.54 percent and the overall inflation was 9.9 percent, they said, referring to government data.

"In such a situation, it becomes difficult for the low- and middle-income people to lead life," they added.

Especially, an increase in prices of eggs and red meat can result in the intake of less protein than necessary which may negatively impact people's nutritional balance in the long run, they further said.

The eminent citizens said that according to the Bangladesh government, the situation arose due to the Russia-Ukraine war while traders blamed the dollar crisis.

Many countries faced similar situations due to the war, they said. However, most of the countries managed to keep inflation at a tolerable level by strictly implementing their monetary policies, austerity measures, and market management, they added.

"We are observing Bangladesh is so far unable to control inflation," they said, adding that, in reality, the government has failed so far to manage the market effectively.

There is an allegation that syndicates at different stages in the market chain, from production to retail, are controlling the price but relevant government bodies are unable to rein them in, they said.

Mentioning the situation as "unacceptable", they said if needed, the government should involve society and take prompt steps to overcome the situation and control prices of the essentials including meat, lentils, onion, egg, and potato to reduce suffering.

The signatories include Sultana Kamal, Rasheda K Choudhury, Prof Syed Anwar Hossain, Ramendu Majumdar, Sarwar Ali, Noor Mohammad Talukder, Prof MM Akash, Khushi Kabir, Rana Dasgupta, Prof Robaet Ferdous, and Zobaida Nasreen.