Soaring Prices, Rising Problems
Photo: Prabir Das
"The authorities are simply not paying any attention to our problems!” says Rahima Akter, who works at a private company, travels from Nilkhet to Uttara every day for work. The recent price hike of gas and electricity has slapped hard the middle and lower income people of Bangladesh. “The cost of transport is increasing as the gas price is high. I really don't know how I will be able to manage this price hike,” adds Rahima.
Today, the talk of the town is the recent price hike of power and gas and its adverse impact on industry, middle and lower income people of the country. House rent, day to day necessary items, transportation, and most importantly the production cost of different products -- are increasing. Experts believe, soon the impact of price hike will be visible in many other sectors in the country.
A student of Eden College, Afroza Akter, fears the increase in rent from next month. Afroza and her friend live in a rented room opposite to the Azimpur Graveyard. The overall increase in prices will create a huge burden on her shoulders. “Our rent till this month has been 6,000 takas a month, including gas and electricity," says Akter. "But from next month, we will have to pay 6,800 takas. It is nothing but an extra pressure for students and their family members.”
Experts, different organisations, even the Jatiya Party is against the price hike. Prominent Economist and Activist, Professor Anu Muhammad has defined this increase as an added burden for the people of Bangladesh. “If the price has been increased for personal benefits of certain groups, and this creates a negative impact on the common people as well as the economy, why should we agree to such a price hike?” asks Muhammad.
According to many news reports, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) has termed this price increase as a violation of the Consumer Rights Act. CAB will file a writ petition unless the new price plan is not rechecked immediately.
There is no clear explanation as to why the authorities, though primarily, have said that they are trying to cover the losses of the previous years. But in the international market, the price of oil has decreased. In question of the increased price of gas in Bangladesh, the authorities claim that because internationally the price of gas is high, Bangladesh needs to increase so that an adjustment can be made. And as most of our power houses operate on oil, the price of electricity has also been increased.
The people of Bangladesh are still hopeful for a better life. As always, they are still expecting the government to understand their plight, and eventually, declare a reasonable price chart for gas and electricity, as soon as possible.