• Thursday, Dec 09, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:02 pm

364 tons of onions imported from Egypt, China

  • Published at 12:03 pm October 1st, 2019
Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Onions were imported after India imposed a ban

A total of 364 tonnes of onions have entered through the Chittagong port after prices kept rising in kitchen markets for the past several weeks due to India’s decision to curb exports.

According to Chittagong port sources on Monday, three importers: Jenny Enterprise, N S International and Hafiz Corporation brought in the consignments of onion from Egypt and China.

Chittagong Port Authority Director (Traffic) Enamul Karim said: “Onions are being unloaded from two container vessels. The other will be unloaded after getting berth.”

It takes one or two days for the onions to finish unloading and go through the taxation process. 

However, more container vessels loaded with onions are still on their way to Chittagong port.

The import of onions from Egypt and China were due to the ban on onion exports from India on Sunday, causing a price spiral in onion markets. 

The government has augmented the sale of onions by increasing the number of OMS spots to 35 in the capital in a bid to rein in the price spiral of the essential kitchen item.

Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin on Monday said there was no cause to panic over the price of onion as there is an adequate stock in government silos and the import of onion is also increasing. 

“TCB will continue to sell on trucks on a large scale at 35 spots, which was previously 16, until the onion prices become stable," he said.

“To check the price hike, TCB has increased the selling points to 35 from 16 in the capital on Monday morning. The subsidized price will remain the same as before at Tk45 per kilogram.” said M Humayun Kabir, deputy senior executive officer of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.

At the instruction of the commerce secretary, the TCB increased their onion selling spots, said the official. 

The sale will go on at different spots, including in front of the National Press Club, Dilkusha Bok Chattar, Khamarbari of Farmgate, Mirpur 10, Malibagh Bazar, Shantinagar Bazar, Kaptanbazar, and Fakirapool Bazar. 

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Humayan Kabir said two ships of onions from Turkey and Egypt had already anchored at the Chittagong port.

“The onion will be available in the market within two or three days; then the prices will come down,” he said.

Earlier on September 17, TCB had started selling onions in the open market at five spots at a subsidized rate of Tk45 per kg to prevent the onion market from rising. A buyer can purchase a maximum of two kilos of onion from the spots.

During a visit to the OMS sale point at Khamarbari, Dhaka Tribune found people, especially low and middle income ones, queuing up to buy onions at the subsidised rate. 

The buyers expressed their dissatisfaction with the supply and called for immediate action to bring down the prices by importing onion from alternative sources other than India. 

“I have come here from Nakhal Para, which is quite troublesome for an old person like me,” said Md Burhan Uddin, a retired person, told Dhaka Tribune at Khamar Bari sales point.

The government should increase the number of selling points as well as the amount to make it available for the low income group, Burhan demanded.   

He also urged the government to take steps in curbing the soaring prices of onion and identify new sources for import than India for a long-term solution.

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