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Onion price hiked in a planned way

Syndicate grabs Tk 3200 cr: CCS

photo by NN Photo

Huge customers crowd around a truck of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) in front of Jatiya Press Club on Sunday to get two kilograms of onion each due to its exorbitant price at the markets across the country.

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Staff Reporter :
A consumer rights body on Sunday alleged that an unscrupulous syndicate pushed up the onion prices in a planned way, which intensified woes of the consumers.
The onion price saw a 400 percent hike in four months from July 2 to October 31, said the consumer rights body-Conscious Consumers' Society (CCS) at a press conference titled 'Price anarchy by onion syndicate' at the Jatiya Press Club.
A syndicate grabbed Tk 3,200 crore from the onion price hike, while the price fluctuated at least 24 times in the last 122 days. The unscrupulous gang snatched extra Tk 500 crore in last months, it claimed.
The syndicate also has a key role to unstable price of onion Tk 150 per kg that bound the consumers to buy at price, the CSS claimed.  
CCS Executive Director Palash Mahmud said according to CCS research,consumers lost Tk 3,179,365,000 over the last four months for the seemingly artificial crisis of onion and the price hike in the country.
According to CCS research, consumers lost Tk 3,179,365,000 over the last four months for the seemingly artificial crisis of onion and the price hike in the country.
CCS, a consumer rights body on Sunday urged the government to take immediate steps to arrest the skyrocketing price of the cooking ingredient.
According to the CCS data, the onion price saw a 400 per cent hike in four months from July 2 to October 31.
CCS members said although the onion price has gone up exorbitantly over the past two weeks, the initial price hike started on July 2, one month before Eid-ul-Azha.
"From July 2 to October 31, the onion price fluctuated 24 times. A strong syndicate is pulling the strings behind this price hike," said CCS Executive Director Palash Mahmud.
He rejected the excuses of short supply and an increase in import cost as claimed by traders for the hike in the onion price, saying the widespread availability of Indian onion in the market now shows that it was stockpiled by traders much earlier and there was no shortage in supply.
According to government data, the demand for onion across the country is 2.4 million (24 lakh) tonnes with local one meeting the need of 1.6 million (16 lakh) tonnes, UNB reported.
"Consumers are being scammed in the name of low supply and high import cost of onion...the average cost of onion imported from Myanmar is Tk 34 per kg and the price of per kg onion can in no way exceed Tk 50," Palash said.
According to CCS research, consumers lost Tk 3,179,365,000 over the last four months for the seemingly artificial crisis of onion and the price hike in the country.
The organisation put forward a set of proposals to resolve the current crisis in onion market. The suggestions include conducting drives against syndicate responsible for the price hike and fixing the highest possible price for onion for a certain period.

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