The price of onion was increasing by the hour and it reached Tk 250 a kilogram in the city on Friday, further burdening the fixed-income group people.
Amid a relentless hike in the price, the government on Friday once again assured that the price of the item would come down soon as the commerce ministry had decided to import the commodity by air from Turkey, Egypt and some other countries.
The onion price skyrocketed by Tk 120-130 over the last four days with the local variety selling for Tk 220-250 and the imported one for Tk 200-230 in city markets on the day, sparking huge criticisms by consumers on the social media.
Traders said that the item’s wholesale price fluctuated as its supply had been decreasing every day.
They further said that small importers were reluctant to import onion for fear of possible fall in prices as big business groups had opened letter of credits for huge quantities.
Narayan Chandra Saha, a wholesaler at Shyambazar in Dhaka, said that most of the wholesale shops remained out of onion stock for the last two days due to poor supply.
He said that the Shyambazar wholesale market on Friday witnessed very low supply of onion and it was traded at high prices.
The commerce ministry, in a press release on the day, said that to keep the commodity available at an affordable price in the local market, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh and S Alam Group would import the commodity from Turkey and Egypt respectively by air.
‘The required quantity of onion would be available in the market within a very short time as the government has taken all the initiatives to import the item by air,’ the release said.
Moreover, huge quantities of onion from Turkey and Egypt are on the way to Bangladesh and these consignments would reach the Chattogram sea port shortly, it said.
Earlier, industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Tuesday in the Jatiya Sangsad had claimed that the onion price came under control though the item was selling for Tk 150 a kilogram on the day.
The commerce minister on November 8 had said that it would not be possible to bring down the price of onion below Tk 100 a kilogram immediately.
Earlier, the minister on October 14 claimed that the price of onion would come down at the end of October as India might lift the ban on onion export at the time.
The price of onion started rising in Bangladesh after India on September 13 set the minimum export price of the item at $850 a tonne.
The price of the commodity increased by Tk 15-20 to Tk 55-65 a kilogram in Bangladesh on September 14, the next day, depending on the variety.
On September 29 when India imposed a ban on onion export the price hit Tk 120 a kilogram the following day, on September 30, in Dhaka’s kitchen markets.
Against the backdrop of a huge surge in the price commerce minister Tipu Munshi requested a number of big business groups to import onions to tackle the situation.
Later, the ministry announced that the commodity price would come down soon as the big business groups opened letter of credit to import the item in huge quantities.
A wholesaler at Shyambazar in Dhaka shows almost fully rotten onions which they are selling at Tk 150 per five kilograms on Friday. — Abdullah Apu
News Courtesy: www.newagebd.net