High-level committee to fix edible oil price

Tipu Munshi says after meeting with traders

Staff Correspondent

25 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

A high-level committee is working on fixing edible oil price in line with current global price in a bid to tame its price volatility in the local market, informed Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday.  

Local edible oil market became volatile for more than a month after the global price spiked by around 70 percent in the last six months. It is now selling at Tk 120 to Tk 130 per litre, up from Tk 100 to 110 previous price. 

 “Edible oil price goes up and down in the local market because of international price volatility. We’re trying to address the issue by going deep into the problem,” Tipu Munshi said after emerging from a meeting with edible oil traders held at commerce ministry on Sunday.

A crisis surrounding edible oil has been created as the country is dependent on 90 percent import, he said adding that per tonne global edible oil price jumped to $1,150 now from $700 six months ago. 

“A price fixing committee trying to adjust local price with the global price after meticulous scrutiny of different aspects,” the commerce minister told reporters.

In addition, the committee will sit once in a month for the price adjustment as the international price can slip anytime, he said.

In response to a demand of oil traders, Tipu Munshi assured them that the ministry of commerce will write to NBR again for reintroducing one-stop duty payment instead of existing four places while keeping intact revenues.

He said he requested businessment to lower the market manipulation by the middlemen, especially for the unpacked edible oil that constitutes 70 to 72 percent of the local edible oil market. 

The ministry of industries is trying to increase marketing of packed of bottled oil to lower price manipulation and adulteration, Munshi pointed out. 

“Bottling of edible oil is essential not only for the price, but also for quality of product. The situation will improve in one and a half years,” he hoped.

He said the government is trying to ensure fair price for all essential food items by addressing hoarding and supply issue. “Nobody will allowed to take undue previledge.”

The businessmen have been requested to increase import of essential items and create a good stock of them ahead of Ramadan so that no crisies in created during the holy month, cited the commerce minister.

Besides, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will start its OMS campaign during Ramadan and it will be expanded three times this year, he noted.  

Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin, Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission Chairman Munshi Shahabuddin Ahmed, Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection Director General Bablu Kumar Saha were present at the meeting.

Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute director Md Obaidul Azam, TCB Chairman Brig Gen Md Ariful Hassan, Meghna Group Chairman Mostafa Kamal, inteligence agencies DGFI and NSI officials and business leaders were also present at the meeting.