• Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:20 pm

Govt scales up OMS onion sale

  • Published at 08:37 pm September 30th, 2019
File photo: People buying onion from a truck which is authorized by TCB Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The prices kept rising in kitchen markets for the past several weeks due to India’s decision to curb exports, the major source of the item for Bangladesh

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

The prices kept rising in kitchen markets for the past several weeks due to India’s decision to curb exports, the major source of the item for Bangladesh. 

The last blow came after India put a ban on exports of onions on Sunday, causing a price spiral in onion markets. 

Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin on Monday said there was nothing to be panicked over the price hike of onion as there was adequate stock of it at government silos and the import of onion was also increasing. 

“TCB will continue their truck selling 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 increased the selling points to 35 from 16 on Monday morning in the capital. 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 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 from Turkey and Egypt with onion 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, the 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 visit to the OMS sale point at Khamarbari, Dhaka Tribune found people, especially low and middle income ones, queuing up for buying onion at a reduced 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 step in curbing the soaring prices of onion and identify new sources for import than India for a long-term solution.

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