• Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019
  • Last Update : 12:45 pm

Lax monitoring blamed for onion price hike ahead of Eid

  • Published at 11:09 am August 14th, 2018

Indian onion sells for Tk35 per kg while the price of local variety is Tk55-60 per kilo

Both the homegrown and imported onions are getting pricier ahead of Eid-ul-Azha despite the fact that the government allowed a duty-free import of Indian onions.

Market sources blamed lax monitoring for the sudden surge in onion prices, reports UNB.

The Indian onion is being sold in local markets at Tk35 per kg while the local variety is being sold at Tk55-60 a kg.

Demand for onion, an essential cooking ingredient, increases during Eid festivities. 

The price of onion marked a big rise in wholesale and retail markets of Dhaka over the past three days.

Some traders, however, said the price has shot up in the local market due to price hike in India.

According to authorities, 4,738 tons of onion was imported from India through the Benapole Land Port in the last six days.

The government has withdrawn all taxes on onion import aiming to keep the price stable in the local market in 2016, sources at Benapole CustomsHouse said.

Most of the Indian onions are being imported through Bhomra port in Satkhira district but due to heavy rush of imported goods-laden trucks there, some onion-laden vehicles are also entering the country through Benapole port, said Commissioner Md Belal Hossain Choudhury of Beanpole Customs.

So, the Benapole authorities decided to keep the port open for 24 hours for smooth trading of the item as to make the market stable ahead of Eid, they said.

"Each ton of onion is being imported at a cost of $205 (Tk17,200). So the import cost of each kg is Tk18 and on top of transport costing is Tk2 per kg," Rafiqul Islam Royal, owner of Royal Enterprise, a Benapole-based clearing and forwarding agent,said.

Due to shortage of onion, the price is being hiked in the local market, he said.

The price of the commodity is being controlled by a syndicate that usually controls the price in local market, said Shaheen Reza, an onion importer.

"We sell onion to the wholesalers after keeping a minimum profit. But, they sell these to others keeping huge margin," he said, adding that the authorities should ensure strong market watch.