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Tipu Munshi blames dishonest traders for hike in onion price

Published : Thursday, 17 September, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 133

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi blamed some unscrupulous traders and panic buying by a section of consumers for sudden abnormal price hike of onions at the local markets.
He made the statement at a press briefing on onion stocks, supply and price situation at the secretariat on Wednesday. Commerce Secretary Dr Zafor Ahmed and other officials were present at the meeting.
"We have a demand for around 10 lakh metric tonnes of onion till next season.   In contrast, we have a stock of around 6.00 lakh tonnes in our hands now. In this situation, we have a shortage of 4.00 lakh tonnes," he added.
Minister Munshi said there will be a bit problem as onion import has been suddenly stopped from India. The government is trying to bring onion from other markets.
The government will import onions from Turkey through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to bring the market under control, he added. 
Tipu Munshi said the onions would be sold at lower prices through TCB as well as e-commerce companies.
"We have started talking to big business groups about importing onions from other countries," he said. The Meghna, City and S Alam groups also collaborated on onions last year. Like last time, they have promised to cooperate again."
"Onion will be brought from other countries including Turkey, Holland in the next 30 days. Then there will be no more problem," he said.
Munshi said unscrupulous traders had taken advantage of the fact as India had stopped exporting onion. Consumers are also buying more onion which is creating panic.
"Don't panic. We'll take action against dishonest traders," he said.
"Nevertheless, I talked to Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das about the sudden suspension of onion export from India. The high commissioner assured me that a good number of onion laden trucks will enter Bangladesh within a day or two," Munshi said.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to import onion from multiple sources to ensure adequate supply at the local markets. Steps are already being taken to bring onion from Turkey and Egypt, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The consignments are expected to reach Chittagong port early next month.
Dhaka has requested Delhi to withdraw its export ban as soon as possible. Bangladesh expects a positive outcome in this regard soon, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said on Tuesday.
India on Monday prohibited the export of all varieties of onion except in cut, sliced or powdered form.
Besides, many people and traders were seen at the Karwan Bazar wholesale market. They were all hoarding on onions.

India on Monday banned exports of all varieties of onion, except those cut, sliced or in powder form, with immediate effect to cap its rising prices at the domestic market.

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