Week 4, 2023

This week has been quite full of interesting and startling conversations so far.

Over the weekend, I had this sudden realization that somehow, the current generation of Alems do not want the children to study about evolution or natural selection as plausible theories. Apparently, its new to the National Curriculum, and people aren’t too happy to study about how they hypothetically might belong to the same genealogy as monkeys. Now, whether you believe in it is a different concern altogether – but the belief that even studying scientific theories would make children go astray is quite a radical point of view that I didn’t realize to be quite prevalent in the society.

Yesterday, I met two random roadside businessmen who were explaining that their business models no longer make sense.

My go-to fuchkawala said that his regular weekly groceries for the store cost him more than what his usual weekly sales is these days. He tried to increase prices – but that resulted in a higher fall in sales. Overall, he is bleeding cash everytime he makes a sale this week.

The other guy sells random fried stuff, and he was complaining that most of his products cost 40-50% more per kilo. His problem was awkward too. With an average SKU shedding him 5 taka, an increase of ~50% ends up being a 8 taka SKU at best. But then, his customers just have 1-2 piece and wake away – which chips away at his average basket size of 20. Without hitting a certain volume in sales, his increase in unit price doesn’t help him at all.

News items like this one prove that they aren’t alone.

These are smaller roadside stalls – and I can assume that the impact on the restaurants are significantly higher these days. And yet, somehow inflation is easing in the government paperwork. Somehow doesn’t make any sense.

As an update – this is how bad the economy is doing currently. For context, our foreign currency reserve is lower than what it should be, dollar costs 106+ on the formal market (115+ in the informal market), there is an increase in callmoney rate to 7% (which I don’t understand – why make cash more available to badly performing banks), there is only a 4.41% decrease in imports (which should be much lower if we want to rein in anything), and the share market is at -1.31% growth.