Staff Reporter : The ongoing inflation is not caused by any internal factors in the country and it would take about a yearto come down to the previous level, while food inflation will start coming down soon.
State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam said this while addressing a World Bank seminar in the city on Tuesday.
“It will take at least one year for the overall inflation to come down to 6 per cent as before. Food inflation will begin to decrease in October-November,” he said.
According to Shamsul Alam, “Inflation is now a big topic of discussion (Big Cry).
Though the government has taken various initiatives including increasing the policy interest rate to control inflation, but everyone is worried about it. Inflation did not increase due to internal factors of the country, rather it came from outside.”
He said that the government cannot be held solely responsible for the surging inflation leading to the spike in essential commodities’ prices.
“The Bangladesh Bank has taken measures to address the situation by increasing policy rates. Initiatives have also been taken to curb excessive demand. In this situation, the government cannot be blamed for the additional cost burden placed on consumers,” he asserted.
Emphasising the external factors contribution to the ongoing economic challenge, the State Minister said, “Due to the rise in prices in the global market, the domestic market has experienced an increase as well.”
He hoped that inflation rates, especially those related to food products and overall inflation, would stabilise within the next three months despite the current challenges.
Regarding the rise in egg prices, he attributed it to a supply shortage while dismissing the possibility of a syndicate manipulating prices.
“The egg sector comprises numerous individual and institutional producers, buyers, and sellers, making it unlikely for a syndicate to operate in such a diverse and competitive environment,” he added.
Shedding light on the seasonal nature of the issue, Shamsul Alam further said, “From July to October, vegetable production tends to be lower, and major crops are not yet harvested. Consequently, food prices tend to be higher during this period.”
South Korean Ambassador in Dhaka Park Young Sik, delegates from the World Bank, economists, and leaders from the private sector also addressed the seminar titled “Avoiding the Middle-Income Trap in Bangladesh: Lessons from Korea.”
During the seminar, speakers emphasised that Bangladesh has the potential to evade the middle-income trap by addressing key challenges, such as enhancing efficiency and productivity, investing in infrastructure development, crafting and executing sound policies, and ensuring good governance.