State Minister for Planning Prof Shamsul Alam on Tuesday said that the point-to-point inflation rate is increasing in the country due to various reasons, but it never returns to the previous level.
“It is very difficult to say whether the increased inflation rate comes back to the previous level. Inflation has increased by 46 per cent in last one year,” he said while speaking at a discussion meeting organised by the Development Journalist Forum of Bangladesh (DJFB) at the National Economic Council (NEC) conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
The junior minister said that the general price inflation in January 2023 was 8.57 per cent. In January 2022, it was 5.86 per cent.
“The cost of production materials has gone up. Besides, the price of fuel has increased. As a result, inflation rose to 9.5 per cent. It has increased by 46 per cent in the last one year. But inflation is gradually decreasing in few months. As inflation increases, so does the wage rate. In January this year, the wage rate increased to 7.06 per cent while it was 5.93 per cent in January last year,” he added.
The state minister said that the inflation will not go back to the previous state because the cost of production has increased. The cost of transportation has also shot up. The prices of essentials have risen.
Regarding the financial situation of the country, Alam said, “I saw good signs of remittance in the last one month. During the July-December period of the current fiscal year, $10.49 billion came in remittances which increased to $12.45 billion in January this year.”
“Expatriates’ income and exports play a role in reserve formation. More than two billion dollar remittances came in a month. Reserves were also positive in the last one month. The reserve data is now very positive. Reserves are gradually looking positive,” he said, adding that export earnings during the July-December period was $27.31 billion which increased to $32.44 billion in January. That means the country sees a huge jump in export earnings in one month.
When asked about a rise in essentials’ prices due to IMF loan conditions, the state minister said, “There is no relation between increasing commodity prices and IMF loans. The IMF has given loans because it has confidence in our overall economy. The IMF is more than happy to lend. Pakistan has not yet received an IMF loan.” Shamsul Alam said that the rice marketing system in the country is fraudulent.
“We have to reform the marketing system. The rice market is completely fraudulent. Fraud in the rice market cannot be allowed to continue, it must be stopped,” he added.