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Bangladesh to roll out plan to tackle price hike, supply crunch

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2022-05-19 22:56:09 BdST

The Bangladesh government is rolling out a strategy to tackle price hike and a supply crunch fuelled by the Ukraine-Russia war amid recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The government will announce the final decisions within three days, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said after a meeting of the council of ministers on Thursday.

Chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office, the cabinet discussed Bangladesh’s economic condition, Anwarul said, urging restraint in spending to tackle the global crisis.

“Please behave rationally,” he said, calling for the media’s help in sending the message to all in a positive way.

He said the commerce and finance ministries have been instructed to take adequate and comprehensive measures to tackle the issues related to price hike, devaluation of the taka against the US dollar and the supply crunch, and present those to all upon consultation with the Bangladesh Bank within two to three days.

The authorities have already curbed imports of non-essential luxury goods and overseas travel of government officials, among other measures.

Anwarul hinted at further toughening imports. “Someone may suggest increasing taxes on the imports of fruits because we’ll have enough mangoes and jack fruits in summer. We’ll take a rational decision after taking the matter into consideration.”

“Fruits worth around Tk 90 billion are brought to Bangladesh every year and Tk 90 billion is more than $1 billion,” he said.

The cabinet secretary urged the media to criticise the government in a constructive way by taking into consideration the global crisis.

“The war in Europe triggered a worldwide economic and supply crisis, because the countries in the region of Russia have surplus food and energy.

“If they cannot make a way out, the entire world will suffer for food and energy.

Yesterday Britain reported 9 percent inflation. It’s more than 8 percent in America. And we’re not out of the world. We’re a part of it.”