'There is adequate stock of onion in the country, while the import is also as usual. There is no valid reason for the rise of onion prices in the country'
In face of soaring onion prices in the kitchen markets, the government has decided to launch open market sale (OMS) of the essential kitchen ingredient through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to increase supply by next week.
As of Monday, per kilogram of local onion sold at Tk70 in the capital’s retail markets, while imported onion was sold at Tk50-55 per kg.
Commerce Secretary Dr Md. Jafar Uddin made the announcement at a meeting to discuss the present situation of the country’s trade and commerce with the taskforce to face Covid-19 pandemic at his office on the day.
The meeting broadly discussed the stock of essential commodities including onion and prices of other essential commodities.
“There is adequate stock of onion in the country, while the import is also as usual. There is no valid reason for the rise of onion prices in the country,” said Jafar Uddin.
If anyone tries to create artificial supply shortages and hike prices, then the government will take legal action against those responsible, he added.
On the other hand, the Commerce Ministry’s monitoring team and Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection will strengthen monitoring to stop unusual price hike and illegal hoarding, he added.
On top of that, to ensure enough supply in the market and keep the prices of onion stable, the TCB will start open market sale at a reasonable price. It will continue until new crops hit the markets, said the secretary.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, TCB spokesperson Humayun Kabir said: "We have received instruction from the Commerce Ministry and are taking the necessary steps to start open market selling."
"We are hopeful to start selling by the middle of September," said Kabir.
However, he could not clarify at what price onion would be sold, or at how many points it will be sold.
The meeting also decided to send a letter to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to reset the import duty of onion.