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Onion prices soar to Tk 110 per kg

BD urges India to lift export ban


FE REPORT | September 16, 2020 00:00:00


The prices of onion jumped to Tk 110 per kilogram on Tuesday in the wake of an export ban imposed on the spice by India.

Onion prices, which went up by Tk10-15 a kg at retail level on Monday following India's export ban, increased further by Tk 30 per kg just in a day.

Local onion was selling at Tk 100-110 a kg and imported Indian varieties at Tk 75-85 a kg at retail markets on Tuesday.

In the wholesale markets, imported onion was sold at Tk 60-65 and local onion at Tk 78-90 a kg at wholesale markets like Shyambazar, Karwan Bazar and Beribadh-Rayer Bazar which was Tk 37-42 and Tk 48-55 a kg respectively on Monday morning, said traders.

Sales of onion remained suspended at different wholesale markets including city's Shyambazar for hours on Tuesday.

Consumers and market observers, however, claimed that a section of unscrupulous traders were creating an artificial crisis of the key kitchen item.

Onion prices hit all-time high of Tk 300 per kg after India imposed a ban on its export last year.

However, a sudden surge in onion prices prompted the government to take some measures to control its price hike.

The commerce ministry has requested the cabinet division to instruct the field-level administrations to keep the supply chain of the item stable.

The government has already urged India to withdraw its ban on onion export, state minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam confirmed it to media.

Earlier, the commerce ministry has also requested the foreign affairs ministry to take required steps so that India lifts its ban on export of onion.

The commerce ministry has instructed the deputy commissioners of different districts including Natore, Rajbari, Pabna, Faridpur and Rajshahi, the onion producing hubs of country, to take necessary steps in this regard.

The instructions came following a sudden ban on onion export by India like that of September last year.

Earlier, the government has taken initiatives to engage the line ministry/different state agencies in ensuring smooth supply of onion in the market.

A senior official of the commerce ministry said: "We have taken steps to import required onions from alternative destinations."

Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) has recently suggested that the government import onions from alternative sources including Myanmar, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, China, Malaysia, Pakistan and the Netherlands.

The government has already strengthened its market monitoring to keep the prices and supply of key essential items including onion stable.

Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection launched drive against illegal hoarding and unusual price hike of onion.

The government has already launched Open Market Sale (OMS) of onion from Sunday, which drew huge buyers following its price hike in the market.

TCB was selling onion at a subsidized rate of Tk 30 a kg from 275 trucks across the country.

However, India has prohibited onion exports from Monday through a notification issued by its Directorate General of Foreign Trade following a shortage of the item there.

The ban put severe impact on the Bangladeshi market as prices witnessed a 40-63 per cent hike in the retail market just in day, according to TCB.

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