The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) reported on Saturday that the cost of living in Dhaka, in terms of retail goods and services, went up by 6 per cent last year, reports UNB.
CAB revealed a report on the cost of living, not accounting for the cost of education, medical care or transport, at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity.
Its chief Ghulam Rahman said the report included data on 114 food products from 15 retail markets and 22 daily necessaries.
They took into account the cost of 14 services including gas, electricity and water.
Prices of essential commodities and services rose by 5.19 per cent, he said, reading out the report.
The cost of living had increased 8.44 per cent in 2017 and the price of commodities and services had gone up 7.17 per cent, he said.
According to the report, 2.44 percentage points decreased in the rate at which the cost of living increased.
Ghulam said they calculated the 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.
"The organisation did not have sufficient capacity to calculate their total cost of living because most Bangladeshis live in rural areas. But the report will reflect a partial picture of the situation in the capital," he said.
Ghulam said cost of living won't be problem if people's income increased.
According to the CAB report, soap prices increased the most in 2018 - 20 per cent compared to 2017. Rice prices increased an average of 8.91 per cent, fish 13.50 per cent, vegetables 9.38 per cent, betel leaves 7.18 per cent and milk 13.33 per cent.
On the other hand, prices of pulse, salt, spices and sugar fell in 2018 compared to 2017. The cost of edible oil, powdered milk, electricity, gas, fuel and rail fare were unchanged.
Professor Shamsul Alam, energy adviser to the organisation, said the county's consumers paid Tk1.14 trillion in import duties in the last year, which is much higher than in neighbouring countries.
However, 25.64 per cent tariff was imposed on imports to Bangladesh in 2017. The average tariff rate in Southeast Asia in 2016 was 4.74 per cent.
The CAB report recommended, among others, to build work-oriented education, make price stable, decrease default loan in banking sector, give priority to farmers; decrease electricity and gas prices.