Onions coming from Egypt; traders still scpetical

Shafiqul Islam
Published : 06:00, Oct 29, 2019 | Updated : 06:00, Oct 29, 2019

People work at an onion wholesale market in the Kawran Bazar in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 24, 2019. REUTERSThe price of onions is still high; official efforts to reduce the price have failed. Different reasons are being cited for the present situation. Each kg of onions is selling for more than Tk 120. Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has appealed to the people to be patient.
Reportedly, importers are selling each kg of onions at Tk 80 and the whole sellers at Tk 100, while in the open market, onions are being sold at Tk 120 per kg.
Tipu Munshi has said: “Have patience, the price of onions will fall in November and within a month the price will come within the buying capacity of the buyers.”
“Onions will come from Egypt and we will be able to get them for Tk 80 per kg,” assured the minister.
It’s known that the commerce secretary had several meetings with importers but to no avail yet.
Asked about the steep price, businessmen said: “There’s no supply while the importers say that the incessant rainfall of the past few days further spoiled the crop.
General Secretary of Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB), Advocate Humayun Kabir, commented: “This would not have happened if the government had exercised due surveillance.”
Meanwhile, importers have alleged that there is a racket manipulating the onion market and the condition will only improve when onions are brought from India.
The unrest of the onion market began on Sept 29 when India declared a ban in exports; at that time, the price per kg rose to Tk 130 within 24 hours. The price fell within Tk 70 and Tk 90 but it shot up again. The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) is selling onions in the open market for Tk 45, and currently, these onions are being sold at this rate at 35 spots of the city from trucks. One buyer is allowed to buy two kg at the most.