Government takes legal steps against 2,500 onion ‘racketeers’

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-11-18 18:07:24 BdST

The government has taken legal action against 2,500 unscrupulous traders for creating an artificial crisis of onion in the market, the commerce secretary says.

Jafar Uddin read out a written statement to the media in three minutes and left the press conference without taking questions.

Highlighting several measures taken by the government to cool down the onion market, the official said, “The onion market will return to normal very soon.”

Myanmar has recently increased its export value of onions four times and local prices have increased partly due to Cyclone Bulbul, according to Jafar.

“In this situation, the steps have been taken to import onions as per the prime minister’s order," he said.

The government is flying in onions from Egypt, Turkey and China. “You’ll be happy to know that the first shipment of onions by S Alam Group will arrive in Bangladesh tomorrow,” he said.

“It takes about one and a half months to bring onions through the sea route. A significant shipment of consignments is now on the way to Bangladesh through the route.”

Onion prices have continued to surge since Sept 29 when India banned exports to control domestic prices, prompting the government to take several measures to tame the spiralling price.

Prices rose to Tk 180 a kg, which is a Tk 30 jump in two days, after Cyclone Bulbul that struck the coastline on Nov 9 squeezed supply. The prices continued to rise and hovered around Tk 250, a record in Bangladesh, over the weekend.