Home Bangladesh Consumers may be halved food budget in new year
Bangladesh - January 1, 2024

Consumers may be halved food budget in new year

Zarif Mahmud : Consumers have to buy daily necessities at the highest prices in history this year. Officials in the government have openly acknowledged syndicates in the agricultural produce market. People’s purchasing power is decreasing due to rising commodity prices and inflation. Because of this, people are trying to reduce costs everywhere. Its impact is falling on the food. Almost all types of vegetables are out of reach of the buyer throughout the year. Egg, fish and meat market. Because of this, most of the people have changed their food list. They are also cutting the market list.
Messes are worse. Non-vegetarian protein sources are now almost nil. Bharta-Vaji is like a daily companion. Public health experts say that if the body does not get the amount of protein it needs, malnutrition may occur. According to them, various diseases take root in the body due to lack of nutrition. It wastes labor hours, reduces production in factories. The national economy also suffers.
Nasirul Islam is a student of political science department of Jagannath University. Lives in a mess in Narinda area of Old Dhaka.
Nasirul told, I get a little money from home. The mess is rented with it. Food costs come from tuition. Now food is not bought that way due to rising prices of daily commodities. Beef or mutton is not brought to the mess. Chickens are sometimes brought, that too irregularly. Eggs are cooked by frying. An egg can be divided into two. Basically, everything is more expensive but the tuition fee has not increased. For this reason, we are cutting back for now.
When asked what is the regular food menu of the mess, he said, everyone has classes. We went out in the morning. Two meals (noon and night) are cooked in the mess. Now vegetable or potato filling and dal. Even if it is an egg, one egg is divided into two. Gourd-sweet pumpkin also runs regularly. Since we are all students, it is not too difficult to adapt.
Tariqul Islam, who lives in a mess in Motijheel Battery Lane, said the same thing. He said, we have a mess here with employees and students. Two meals are cooked. Eat food after 11 pm. There is no need to eat at noon. But try to eat two meals of vegetables. If it’s Friday, broiler chicken or fish is cooked. This is how it goes. I am not thinking of eating anything good right now. After the price of everything went up, so did the cost of the mess.
Tariq said, along with studies, I do part-time jobs. Have to send some money for the family. I can’t afford it now because the price of everything has gone up. If sick, it seems that there will be no money for treatment. Can not meet the nutritional needs of the body. How to eat meat regularly? Before this, even though we eat fish and chicken regularly, it cost Tk 35 to Tk 40 per meal (one meal). Now eat vegetables. Still 40 rupees per mill is being spent. The price of soap and shampoo has also increased. Many others like him said the same thing.
People running to office on foot
Every aspect of life has to be reviewed. Many people are walking to their destinations to save money. In particular, a large number of people spend their daily commute to the office on foot.
Mahbubworks in a state-owned bank. Lives in Basabo area. Mahbub told that the home loan amount is deducted from the salary. What comes next is not going through. Children’s education and household expenses. Vegetables now seem like fish and meat. Everything has gone up in price. So, I walk to and from the office most of the time. I didn’t have time to walk before. Now I am walking to office, exercising.
Zainal Abedin held Motijheel office from Shahjahanpur. He is an officer of a private company. Earlier, he used to travel by rickshaws, but now he has changed his movement. Ride a rickshaw one day and return on foot the next.
Many are suffering from physical problems due to excessive walking. Especially the impression of fatigue is forming on their body. One such person is Kabir Ahmed working in a financial institution.
He said, I am now walking to office to save costs. In this, many times the body becomes weaker, the path is unsteady. There is no environment for walking on the street. However, to survive, I am thinking about the future of my children. All of them are studying in Dhaka.
Dr. public health expert on this situation. Lelin Chowdhury told that people’s purchasing power is decreasing due to the increase in commodity prices. People have changed the list of food to save costs. Among the five basic components of food, carbohydrates are rice. Its price has increased. The price of meat has increased. Among the staple foods, the price of oil has gone up, the prices of vegetables and fruits have also gone up. As a result, food prices inevitably declined. Deficiency in the amount or proportion of balanced food that a person needs to eat daily to stay healthy. which is affecting human health negatively. That is, he is not able to take the amount of protein that his body needs, he is not getting what he needs of fatty substances, the same is true in the case of vegetables and fruits.
Dr. Lelin Chowdhury said, because of this, his body is suffering from malnutrition. And if there is malnutrition, the immune system of his body decreases. Then the attacks of diseases are more, the ability to work is reduced. Because of this, national labor hours are lost. It affects national production. That means there is a serious negative impact on the economy.
He said, when the quality of food decreases, immunity decreases. Then the need for treatment is more. Don’t go for treatment unless absolutely forced to due to financial strain. When he went, his condition worsened. The rate of illness in the body increases. All in all, the high cost of daily commodities ultimately degrades our public health standards. Diseases increase, health costs increase.
On the one hand, walking has physical benefits Dr. Leylinsaid. On the other hand, there is also the danger of accidents. Many times, walking in the sun and heat, many people get sick. There is only gain in walking, it cannot be said. It cannot be said that there is damage again. It has mixed results. But if there was a walkable environment, it would have been beneficial. When a person walks to the office in the morning, he brings fatigue to the office. It reduces his mentality to work. For this reason, I would say that walking should be while walking. Walking to the office can be worse.
On the other hand, when the price of daily products comes up, the talk of syndicate comes up in the market. But the regulatory body in charge of supervision seems to be ‘sleeping’. Despite being given maximum powers to control the market of agricultural products, the agency is not seen to be doing anything effective.
Mizanur Rahman, senior agricultural marketing officer in charge of Dhaka district, told that apart from the mobile court operated by our law, we run the mobile court in coordination with other organizations including the Ministry, Consumer Directorate. There is no total count (how many expeditions per year). Only our law keeps track of how many have happened.
Gholam Rahman, President of CAB, an organization working on consumer rights told that low-income people are being deprived of meat because of the price. Low- and middle-income people are also in trouble due to increase in the price of daily commodities in the market. It has been seen that the government cannot control the market even if it wants to by fixing the prices of some products. It’s sad.

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