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Onion sellers doing irresponsible business: Commerce secy

Onion sellers doing irresponsible business: Commerce secy
Bangladesh Business Agriculture

CT News Online

Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh has expressed concern about the sudden increase in onion price in Bangladesh following the ban on Indian onion exports.

He criticises Bangladeshi onion sellers for what he calls “irresponsible business” and accuses them of exploiting the situation to double the onion prices in the local market overnight.

The commerce secretary made the remarks while addressing the special guest on the occasion of National VAT Day at multipurpose hall of the Revenue Bhavan in Agargaon of the capital on Sunday.

“Sellers sold onions at a rate of Tk 110-120 kg in the previous day, how can its price suddenly became Tk 200 the next day? The price should not increase overnight if India bans onion export,” he mentioned.

Tapan opines that suddenly the price of onion has increased by Tk 70-Tk 80, which is definitely not a responsible behaviour of the businessmen.

In a free market economy, it is challenging to restrict such practices, even with policing, he said and stressed the need for implementation of a seasonal tariff arrangement to address this issue.

This approach would help maintain import opportunities while protecting the interests of local farmers. The government can regulate imports more effectively by adopting a seasonal tariff system, Tapan said.

The commerce secretary cites previous instances where allowing import opportunities led to a decrease in prices for other commodities like potatoes and eggs.

He sees a strategic role for imports in stabilising prices and ensuring a steady supply of essential goods.

Chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem presided over the event.

Finance Secretary Khairul Majumdar, President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Mahbubul Alam, among others spoke at the occasion.