TCB to increase onion selling spots in capital

The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has decided to increase the spots for open market sale (OMS) of onion in the capital today following a decision to ban onion export by the Indian government on Sunday, reports BSS.

“We have more than doubled the onion selling spots from the earlier 16 spots in the capital in order to make it available for the common people,” said Humayun Kabir, deputy senior executive and personal secretary to chairman of the TCB. Besides, the onion is being sold at 187 spots outside the capital. Earlier, the TCB sold onion at 16 spots, he said, adding that the spots will be increased to 35 from tomorrow in order to check further price hike of the commodity.

The TCB is selling the onion at Taka 45 per kg and a person can buy at best two kilograms of onion at a time from the TCB dealers. Initially, the TCB started onion sale at five spots in the capital on September 16, following the Indian announcement to increase its export price, he said adding that then the number of the spot rose to 16.

After India imposed an $850 per tonne minimum export price on onion on Sept 13, prices started to rise in Dhaka from the next day. The retail prices of both local and Indian onions in the capital rose up to Tk 80 with a maximum hike of Tk 30 per kg, prompting the government to intervene. After two weeks of export price hike, the Indian government banned the export of onions with “immediate effect” until further orders in a bid to control the soaring prices of the Indian kitchen staple, according to a Indian commerce ministry statement.

The move comes in the wake of the rising onion prices that has led to public outcry. The surge in onion prices is said to be due to a depleted supply following months of incessant rainfall and flood-like situation in onion-producing states in the country. Last week, retail prices of onion continued to remain high at Rs 70-80 per kg in the national capital Delhi and other parts of the country, despite government measures to boost the supply of onions.