Home ›› Economy

Letter issued for onion imports on emergency basis

Staff Correspondent
21 May 2023 17:34:18 | Update: 21 May 2023 21:17:28
Letter issued for onion imports on emergency basis
— UNB File Photo

The commerce ministry – in a recent letter – has asked the agriculture ministry to take steps for issuing import permits for onions due to the kitchen essential’s unusual price hike in local markets.

The letter, signed by commerce ministry Joint Controller Shamima Akhtar, points out that the price of onions is increasing in the retail market and it is necessary to take initiatives for stabilising the market by increasing its supply.

As a result, in order to stabilise the market, the commerce ministry requested the agriculture ministry to consider issuing permission to import onions on an urgent basis on a limited scale.

The price of per kg onion was Tk 30 a month ago, but rose to Tk 50 last week. The commodity is now selling for Tk 70 – Tk 80, show Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data.

On Sunday, Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said a decision on onion import will be taken within the next two to three days after monitoring the domestic market, reports UNB.

"I know that all middle- and limited-income people are suffering. The price of onions should not be Tk 80 per kg. At the policy level, we are putting emphasis on the interests of our local farmers,” the minister said while speaking to reporters at the Secretariat.

"We have discussed it at the highest level of policymaking. We are monitoring the market very closely. Insha'Allah, you will get a decision on whether we will import onions in the next 2-3 days," he added.

Last week, Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhter said the government is considering importing onions due to the hike in onion prices in the market.

Due to government intervention, onion production in the country has increased by more than one million tonnes in the last two years, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension.

This year alone, more than 34 lakh tonnes of onion have been produced in the country. The demand for onions in the country is 26 to 28 lakh tonnes per year.