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Raids against stockpiling of onion begins
in Dhaka as import drops

Raids against stockpiling of onion begins

Dhaka, Oct 01 – The governmenton Tuesday started carrying out drives against stopping stockpilings of onion in the wholesale markets at different places in the country including Khatunganj in Chattagram and Shaympur in Dhaka to control price of onions in the retail markets.The government took the measures in the wake of a big range sudden hike of price of onion following the Indian government imposed a ban on exporting onions to control its domestic markets.
Soon after starting the drives, the price of onions reduced by Tk 30-35 per kg at the biggest wholesale market at Khatunganj in Chattagram yesterday.
However, the price of onions in other markets including the capital city of Dhaka remained unchanged for the second day yesterday after imposing Indian ban on exporting onions on Sunday.
In wholesale market in Jatrabari, per palla (5-kg) local onion was sold yesterday at a price of Tk 100 while Indian onion at a cost of Tk 450. However the price in the retail markets remained unchanged and a consumer has to purchase per kg local onion at a price of Tk 120 and Indian onion at a cost of Tk 110.
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) continued selling local onion at a cost of Tk 45 per kg from its 35 points in the city.
Businessmen at retail markets alleged that there is no crisis of onions stock in the wholesale markets but a section of unscrupulous importers are trying to take the advantage for making money showing excuse of shortage of the staple.
Ministry of Commerce sources said the ministry asked all the district administration to carryout drives against stockpiling of onions and finding out the people who are responsible behind increasing the price of onions without any reason.
Our Chattagram correspondent reports that with starting drives at the biggest wholesale market Khatunganj in the port city, the price of onions reduced by Tk 30 to 35 per kg.
Chattagram district administration claimed that some importers increased the price of onions showing artificial crisis though there is no crisis of the staple.
The administration will take legal measures against those are involved in manipulation for increasing onions price and they will regularly monitor the markets.
The district administration said they have prepared a list of businessmen who are involved in manipulating onion price and they would send it to the commerce ministry to take action against them.
The price of onions was shot up to Tk 85 from Tk 55 per kg within few hours of imposing Indian ban on Sunday which reached Tk 110 on Monday. Some wholesalers even stopped selling onions despite having huge supply of the staple.
Sensing presence of mobile court at Khatunganj market, the soaring onions market suddenly reduced drastically and the wholesalers started selling onion at a price of Tk 70-85 varying quality.
The businessmen as usual accused the importers of increasing the onions price and said they have no hand there.
Tofazzal Hossain, a wholseller at Khatunganj told the correspondent that they are commission agents and they are bound to sale at the rate fixed by the importers.
He also alleged that some importers on Tuesday asked them to stop selling of onions and they stopped the selling.
Assistant commissioner at Chattagram district administration, who led the drive at Khatunganj, said they would regularly monitor the market until the onion markets would be stable.
“We have issued an alert to the wholesalers today (Tuesday) and have not fined anyone but lawful measures will be taken from tomorrow (Wednesday) if anyone try to manipulate the price of onions,” he reminded.
On an average 20 to 22 trucks of inions are sold every day through 130 wholesalers in the Khatunganj market.
Commerce ministry sources said the ministry official along with consumers rights officials and law enforcers yesterday visited wholesale markets at Shyampur in the city and asked the businessmen to refrain from manipulating the onion price wihtout any reason.
Meanwhile, 1,000 metric tons of onions reached in Chattagram from China, Egypt and Myanmar and another onion laden ship is on way to the sea port.
The commerce ministry in a press release said a positive impact has fallen in the onion market with taking some measures.
Bangladesh Bank has taken measures to reduce Letter of Credit (LC) margin and interest rate and National Board of Revenue and port authorities to quickly have taken necessary measure to release onion chalans immediately and on priority basis.
There is no shortage of local and imported onion in the markets and there is nothing to be worried, said the release. – Staff Reporter

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