Following a government directive, several private business conglomerates are importing onions to immediately check the skyrocketed price of the essential cooking spice.
The ministry of commerce last week issued a directive where the private firms have been asked to import onions via air from November 20 to 25, said Abdul Latif Bakshi, public relations officer of the ministry, adding that the imported onion would be sold through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) at the rate of Tk 45 per kg at retail level.
During this period, S Alam Group will import a total of 17,050 tonnes of onions from Egypt via air, he said.
The first consignment of onion imported by the group arrived at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in the early hours of Wednesday.
S Alam Group has also opened a letter of credit (LC) to import another 58,500 tonnes of onions via sea, Bakshi said.
Meanwhile, CityGroup and Meghna Group, two local business giants, have also started importing onion via air, the PR official said, adding that two large consignments of onions are scheduled to land at HSIA today morning.
The two companies have also opened LCs for importing a substantial quantity of onion via sea very soon, he said.
Nawshad Enterprise, another local private firm, has already imported 82 tonnes of onion from Pakistan on Wednesday.
“So, onion is imported by both via air and sea routes. We hope the price of onions will come down further with the improvement of supply,” he said.
The public relations officer also said the government will provide incentives to the companies that are importing onion at an emergency basis.
The TCB is currently selling onions in 50 trucks in the capital, Bakshi said, adding that the state-run trading organisation would continue selling onions at divisional and district level based on the availability of imported onions, he said.