The monthly inflation in September went up 23 months high to 6.12 per cent because of food price-led inflation against the backdrop of sharp rise in price of rice.
The price spiral of rice that accounts for large share of the daily expenses of majority households also pushed up prices of other essential items to torment majority population.
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics that calculates monthly inflation rate on the basis of Consumer Price Index last time recorded higher than latest monthly inflation at 6.19 per cent in October 2015.
Planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while disclosing the data of inflation at the planning commission on Tuesday blamed damages of crops due to floods in most parts of the country for price hike of essentials both in rural and urban areas.
According to BBS, the monthly inflation rate started to rise from August and was recorded at 5.89 per cent.
The BBS, releasing inflation data quarterly instead of monthly in the past, recorded inflation at 5.8 per cent in the first quarter (July –September) of the fiscal year.
The monthly inflation in rural area rose to 6.21 per cent compared to 5.95 per cent in the urban area in the same month.
Kamal hoped that the upward trend of inflation would ease in the coming months with the improvement of supply situation of rice, interrupted mainly because of crops loss due to floods and failure by the food ministry to make timely rice import arrangements.
The ministry of food is trying to import 20 lakh tonnes of foodgrains in a desperate bid to improve the supply situation.
Experts expressed doubt about the calculation on inflation by the BBS saying that the rate of inflation would be much higher.
Former caretaker government adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said sharp rise in price of rice accounting for bigger share of the food basket may not be reflected correctly in the inflation data.
According the World Food Programme, the price of rice increased 30 per cent because of damages of crops due to floods.
The prices of vegetables marked substantial rise while the price of beef went out of reach of common people.
The current food inflation, according to BBS officials, also led to price hike of clothes, energy, house rent, furniture, medicine, medical treatment, education and transportation.
Kamal said there was a fear that the price hike of rice would bring a disaster for many people.
However, the fear has been dispelled, he said.
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