Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) has accused the commerce ministry of playing the role of "a silent spectator in curbing the spiraling price of onion" which has left the consumers to bear the brunt.
The country's sole watchdog, that promotes and protects consumer rights, has blamed the ministry for its inaction in a press statement on Sunday.
The statement was jointly signed by CAB central committee Vice President SM Nazer Hossain, Kazi Iqbal Bahar and Jesmin Sultana, among others.
The leaders of the organisation bemoaned the fact that a section of dishonest traders are involved in increasing the price of onion which is an essential cooking ingredient.
According to the press release, the commerce ministry has become excessively dependent on the traders to keep a tab on the prices of essential commodities in the market, rendering the consumers to pay such high prices.
By not taking any initiative to import onions from countries like Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan this year, the authorities have allegedly created an oppurtunity for the traders to extort the consumers. Moreover, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) have been made non-functional, said the leaders of the CAB.
The consumer rights activists also placed a set of recommendations to keep an eye on the price of onion and restrict its import from countries other than India.
CAB leaders have also urged the district and upazila administrations to intensify vigilance over the market to control over the price hike.
Showing gross disregard to ethics, these traders create an artificial crisis to extort and make quick. The traders are bumping up the prices of onion, blaming the price hike in India. However, the current stocks were imported 3 to 6 months ago.
According to the commerce ministry data, Bangladesh’s yearly demand for onion is 2.2 million tons while local production stood at 2.13 million tons last year.