Home Bangladesh Income falls short of rising living costs
Bangladesh - 2 weeks ago

Income falls short of rising living costs

Mahfuja Mukul: Shafiq drives a rickshaw in Uttara of the capital. He earns about Tk 700 per day. A few months ago, the income was a little less. Some days Tk 500 and some days Tk 600. However, even though his income has increased a little, his lack has not stopped. Because the expenditure has increased more than the income.
Shafiq said in the light of time, “The income is more than before, this is true.” But there is no money.
The market always used to borrow some day. Everything is going up in price. The landlord is also raising the rent. When Irequest not to increase the rent, the landlord says, you are increasing the rickshaw fare, your income is increasing. How can we go if we don’t raise the rent. The prices of things are increasing, we also have to buy everything at a higher price.’
He said, “It is becoming difficult to live in Dhaka by renting a house and taking care of your wife and children.”
I am thinking of sending everyone home (to the village). Stay in a match or garage by yourself. If I go to the country, I will buy something for my child.
The rest of the vegetables and fish are on their own. Then I will reduce the cost a little. There is no shame in thinking so much. Shafiq’s income-expenditure difference has also come up as a government. This picture has also emerged in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).
According to the BBS report, the overall inflation rate in the country in March was 9.81 percent and the wage growth rate was 7.80 percent. That is, expenditure has increased by 2.01 percent over income.
Simply put, if a person’s income is Tk 107.80 in the month of March this year, his expenditure is Tk 109.81. That is, expenditure is Tk 2.10 more than income. According to BBS data, the people of Sylhet division are under the most pressure due to inflation or the increase in the prices of daily commodities. Because the wage growth rate in this category is the lowest. The people of Rangpur division are fairly good compared to other divisions. The wage growth rate is highest in this category. But it is less than inflation.
Analysis of the data shows that wages in Sylhet division increased by 6.46 percent last March. This is the lowest wage growth rate among the seven categories. The second lowest wage increase was in Chittagong division. The wage growth rate in this department is 6.53 percent. Next is Barisal. The wage growth rate in this department is 6.87 percent, Rajshahi division is 7.22 percent, Khulna division is 7.28 percent, Dhaka division is 7.36 percent and Rangpur division is 8.18 percent.
The Bangladesh Sample Vital Statistics-2023 survey report has revealed that the number of people leaving cities and returning to villages is increasing due to the increase in expenditure compared to income. It is mentioned that last year 13.8 people left the city for every thousand population, which was 10.9 people in 2022. In 2021, 5.9 out of every thousand people left the city and moved to the village. In 2020, this rate was 8.4 people. In 2019, less than one or 7/10 people left the city for every thousand.
When asked about this, Mustafa K Mujeri, executive director of the research organization Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (INF), said that people’s purchasing power is constantly decreasing, their ability to deal with the situation is gradually decreasing. They cut costs and cannot ensure healthy food for family members. Inflation is unlikely to come down at present. High inflation has long-term negative effects on health and education. So, the government should give importance to this issue in the next budget. The government must expand the coverage of the social safety net both in quantity and quality.
In this context, Vice President of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) SM Najer Hossain said that wages are not increasing at the same rate as inflation. As a result, the cost of living is increasing. Due to heavy expenses, pressure is being created on common people. Various suggestions are being given to the government by CAB in this regard; But the government is not working on it.
He said that the government can’t increase the wages at any time. It requires policies. For this, what the government can do for now is to increase investment in the social security sector. Expanding the scope of TCB’s subsidized product sales activities.
Advising to make the tariff system flexible, he further said, our import duty remains the same throughout the year. It has to be flexible. When there is a crisis in the product, the duty should be reduced. Then the price of the product will be somewhat bearable. There will not be as much pressure on people.
Debapriya Bhattacharya, Honorary Fellow of Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a private research organization, said that without increasing the real income, the real wages of the workers are not increasing. It risks falling below the poverty line in the long run. And as consumption decreases, investment will decrease. It will reduce the growth.

Check Also

Govt faces chellenge to implement 50 pc of ADP in a month

Not possible, encourage misuse of public fund: GEF Farhad Chowdhury: According to statisti…