Onion price under control, claims industries minister

Bangladesh Parliament
Bangladesh Parliament. File Photo

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun today in the parliament claimed that the onion price has come under control at present.

The minister’s claim came when the onion price went beyond the purchasing capacity of general people. The necessary cooking ingredient was being sold at Tk 150 per kg, the highest ever price, at the retail markets in the capital.

“I believe the onion market is now under control,” the minister, in absence of Commerce Minister Tipu Mushi, told the parliament responding to a supplementary question of BNP lawmaker Jahidur Rahman.

Nurul Majid said that onion market became went up due to flash flood in India while the country stopped onion export to Bangladesh.

“But we brought the situation under control quickly through importing onion from Myanmar and Turkey,” he said adding that this is a lean period for onion and crisis of onion usually prevails at this time.

“Our local onion is yet to hit the market, but it will come within a few days,’ he said.

The minister said the government is launching mobile courts in district and upazilas levels across the country to prevent the selling of onion with higher price while directorate of Consumer Rights Protection and other government agencies are monitoring the market.

Replying to a written question from Awami League MP Anwar Khan (Laxmipur-1), the minister said the country produces 23.31 lakh metric tons onion against the annual demand of 24 lakh metric tons.

“Of the produced onion, around 30 per cent are damaged during collection and preservation. That means, the total amount stands 16.31 lakh metric tons. The deficit of the onion is meet up through importing from India,” he added.

The minister said due to the flood in Maharashtra (India), the onion production has damaged seriously and thus, the export price of onion has been raised to $ US 850 from $ US 250-300.

“Later, they (India) stopped exporting onion to Bangladesh as the price shoots up abnormally. As a result, the price of onion in Bangladesh has gone beyond the purchasing capacity of people,” he said.   

The Minister said that the government started to sell onion in the open market through Trading Corporation of Bangladesh to control the onion price.