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Onion hoarders must face action: Tipu Munshi

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 12 October, 2021 12:00 AM
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Onion hoarders must face action: Tipu Munshi

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Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said there is no supply crunch in the country’s onion market now and the prices should be stable.

He warned against any price manipulation of the essential item, saying that those who attempt to do that must face stern actions.

“The government has taken all the initiatives to keep onion supply, stock and price stable. Tough legal actions will be taken against those who will try to create artificial crisis in the market,” he said.

The minister was speaking to journalists in a virtual briefing after a meeting on supply and price situation of essential commodities on Monday.

The remarks came after the onion prices soared sharply by Tk 20-30 a kg just in a week.

The onion was selling at Tk 70-80 per kilogram in the capital city’s retail market on Monday, increasing from around Tk 50 per kg a week earlier.

Commerce minister informed that the country has a stock of 5 lakh metric tonnes of local variety of onion the while imports from India and Myanmar also goon as well.  

Addressing to the consumers, he said, “There is no reason for being frightened about the supply of onion as the country has enough stock.”

As part of the government initiatives to rein in heated up onion prices, the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has continued open market sale of onion at Tk 30 per kg, he added.

New onion of summer season will hit the market in one month or so, which will also help control the market volatility of essential spice item, TipuMunshi said.  

Meanwhile, the ministry of commerce requested National Board of Revenue (NBR) for duty waiver on onion exports after the sudden jump in its price.

Besides, it also requested the tax administrator to lower taxes on non-refined soybean oil, palm oil and sugar to their price volatility, official sources said.

In addition, the ministry stepped up its market monitoring drives through more presence of monitoring teams of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP).

Tipu Munshi urged the onion traders to do business with sincerity and honesty.  

He informed that apart from duty waiver, the NBR was also requested to take measures to make onion import much easier and quicker. The request was also made to the ministry of agriculture for quick approval of onion import proposals.

Also, TCB will continue its OMS of onion at fair price as it has imported enough onion, the minister noted.

Commerce Secretary Tapon Kanti Ghosh chaired the meeting, also attended by TCB Chairman Brig Gen Ariful Hassan, Additional Commerce Secretary (exports) MdHafizur Rahman, Additional Commerce Secretary (IIT) AHM Shafiquzzaman, and representatives from other regulatory bodies.