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Tk 250 sold per kg now

Onion price keeps soaring further

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Staff Reporter :
Onion prices at kitchen markets in Dhaka city hit a record high on Friday, failing the government's all mechanisms to cool down the overheated onion market.
During visits to different kitchen markets in the capital, including Mohammadpur Krishi Market, East and West Kazipara, Karwan Bazar and Shewrapara kitchen market, our correspondent found that local onion was being sold at Tk 240 to 250 per kg in retail markets while the onion exported from Myanmar was being sold at Tk 230 to 240 per kg and from Egypt at Tk 190 to 200 per kg.
Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Commerce Tofail Ahmed on Friday said the onion price will become normal soon as around 50,000 tonnes imported onion is on the way from different countries.
"Different countries of the world are facing onion crisis this year. The government has taken initiatives to import onion from several countries, including Egypt, Turkey and Myanmar," he said.
Tofail Ahmed, also Awami League Advisory Council Member, said this while speaking as the chief guest at a function for distributing corrugated iron sheets, rice and cash money among the cyclone affected people in Ilisha union under Sadar Upazila of Bhola.   
He said, it is not possible to control the market by creating pressure on the business community. "We will have to take lessons from the incident," he added.
On Thursday, onions were actually being sold for as high as Tk 220 a kg in retail markets.
Prices of onion were Tk 50 for a kg but within the span of two months the price touched at Tk 240 to 250 for a kg, which is a record high for this year.
However, the onion price at the Karwan Bazar wholesale market was a little cheaper as the local onion was being sold at Tk 220 to 230 per kg while the onion exported from Egypt at Tk 160 to 180 per kg and Myanmar one at Tk 190-200 per kg, according to several traders of the market.
Talking to the reporter, Moniruzzman Kazal, owner of Janani Departmental Store at West Kazipara, said he stopped selling of the onion sensing possible loss due to the skyrocketing prices of the essential cooking item.
"I have been selling all cooking items including onions for the last 30 years. I have never experienced such price hike of onions. So, I stopped storing and selling of onion," he added.
According to the traders, prices of Indian onion started going up since the third week of September following a ban on the export of the item.
In September, India announced a ban on export of onion with immediate effect, after extended Monsoon downpour delayed harvest and supplies shrivelled.
Last month, Dipankar Ghosh, Clearing and Forwarding Agents of Bhomra Land Port, said onion prices jumped in Indian wholesale markets since the third week of September, resulting in a hike in the import cost in Bangladesh.
The price restriction heated up the onion market in Bangladesh as the country meets a portion of its annual demand through import because of inadequate domestic production.
On Thursday, terming the crisis artificial, senior treasury and opposition Bench lawmakers came down heavily on the government in Parliament for failing to check skyrocketing of onion prices.
They said people were suffering and the government's failure to bring down the prices of the daily essential would trigger a negative reaction from the people.
The MPs, taking the floor on points of order, said there was "no shortage" of onions in the market and the crisis was artificially created.

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