Govt must help who are struggling to survive but can’t meet the high cost of living

02 October 2022 Editorial Desk
Govt must help who are struggling to survive but can’t meet the high cost of living

People struggling to keep up with rising prices of essentials have to spend even more on food.  The fallouts from the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war had forced consumers, especially those with fixed incomes, into curbing expenditure to make ends meet over the last few months. With the global crises, the government hiked the fuel price illogically which put a butterfly effect on all essentials, while the absence of market monitoring and allowing middlemen, particularly the ruling party men, to pickpocket pushed the consumers into the corner. There is no respite for the citizens, and any governance and support for the fixed-income and informal workers and the unemployed.

Every type of vegetable, fruit, fish, meat, and once cheap protein source egg are out of reach for many households living on a fixed income in urban and rural settings. On August 6, the government raised fuel prices by up to 51.7 per cent, the highest in the country's history. A day after the record hike, prices of rice, lentil, onions, eggs, edible oil, and chicken shot up the highest 15 per cent. Traders are blaming the hike in transport fares and the fall of the value of the taka against the dollar are the main reasons behind the escalation.

Consumers said no matter how much they curtail their expenses, coping with skyrocketing prices is almost impossible. According to the TCB, prices of all varieties of rice shot up by between 4.38 per cent and 6.12 per cent on Thursday. The cost of imported coarse rice had increased due to tax and high dollar prices, but the mill owners increased the prices of local varieties as well. The price of almost every product delivered to us in the last few days has increased. Those who did not increase the price had reduced quantity. Showing a pack of biscuits that cost Tk 10, suppliers did not increase its price but reduced the number of biscuits in the packet.

The continuously escalating price of essential items has caused RMG workers to adjust their expenditures to survive.  Even those with higher incomes are feeling the pinch and to cope with the higher inflation, they are pushing down living standards. Nobody, except those who earn illegally and receive blessings from fund embezzlement and corruption, is living well and those who should care are totally careless about the plights.

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