Bangladesh waives onion import duty to control prices

The government has waived the 5 percent duty on the import of onion with the aim to calm down the prices that have spiralled beyond the easy reach of people following an export ban by India.

The waiver will remain effective until Mar 31, 2021.

The National Board of Revenue will issue an order on the exemption by Sunday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told bdnews24.com.

“We'd imposed the 5 percent duty to ensure a fair price for our farmers, but the situation has changed,” Kamal said.

The move aims to contain the prices by allowing the importers to cut costs for

bringing the kitchen staple from other countries than India.

After India announced the ban last week, the prices in Bangladesh almost doubled to Tk 100 per kg.

Bangladeshis, fearing a further price hike, scrambled to buy and stock up on the root vegetable beyond their daily needs.

The government has taken several other steps to cool down the prices. These include the sale at a fair price through dealers and online by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.

The foreign ministry has also urged the Indian authorities to roll back the abrupt decision to halt exports.