Globally, the prices of a ton of onion rose to $231.42, which was $212.90 a month ago
Commerce ministry yesterday directed the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to start open market sales to keep prices of onion, garlic and ginger stable in kitchen markets ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
The ministry gave the direction at a meeting to discuss supply and prices of essential commodities including onion, garlic, ginger, edible oil, sugar and other spices with the stakeholders ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi presided over the meeting.
Senior Commerce Secretary Md Mofizul Islam gave the direction to TCB Chairman Brigadier General Md Hasan Jahangir, who was present at the meeting.
“Prices of onion has increased on international market, while the Indian government has withdrawn the its 10% cash incentives given to the exporters of onion. On the other hand, flooding hindered supply in the local markets,” said Md Mofizul Islam.
Globally, the prices of a ton of onion rose to $231.42, which was $212.90 a month ago, Tariff Commission data show.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Mofizul said that the open market sales would start as soon as possible.
Bangladesh’s yearly demand of onion is 24 lakh tons. As of July 22, as per the TCB data, per kilogram of onion was sold at Tk32-45, which was Tk25-35 last month, TCB data showed.
However, in the kitchen market, per kg of imported onion is now selling at Tk35 and local onion at Tk50.
Per kilo gram of garlic now sells at Tk130 to Tk180, which was Tk140-150 a month ago.
Per kilo gram of ginger is selling at Tk130 to Tk180, which was Tk140 to Tk180 last month.
“There is a strong need for monitoring to ascertain how much goods including onion, garlic and ginger are entering into the country and what is its impact on the supply chain,” said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi.
“If we have data on supply chain, we can take steps,” he pointed out.
To the TCB chairman, the minister said: "If prices of goods continue to rise, take immediate action and the government will provide subsidies to keep prices of essentials at a reasonable level."
To keep the prices of onion within the reach of common people, importers present at the meeting urged the government to take necessary step so that at least 150 trucks carrying onion could enter the country per day.
Meanwhile, the ministry has asked the customs authorities to run activities at Sonamasjid Land Port and Bhomra Land Port for extended hours to increase the import of onion from India.
In addition, the commerce ministry has also decided to send a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to negotiate with the Indian counterpart to ease the import of onion.