These decisions were taken at the third meeting of the taskforce committee to analyse the prices of essentials and the state of market. The meeting was held at the commerce ministry on Wednesday.

Representatives of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and Edible Oil and Sugar Refiners Association were present with commerce secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh in the chair.

The meeting stressed on the production of essential goods locally and reducing dependency on import. A decision was also taken to uphold import permission (IP) letter for onion so that Bangladesh would not face any crisis once onion-exporting countries including India stop the export. Production of sunflower oil, mustered oil and rice bran oil was also stressed for edible oil instead of being dependent on soybean and palm oil only.

The meeting also discussed about implementation of the decisions taken in the committee’s second meeting.

Commerce secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said, “There is a perception that price increases in the local markets following a rise in price in the international market but local price does not drop even if international markets see price fall. But we have broken this perception with edible oil.”

“A meeting will be held again next month to adjust price of edible oil and the FBCCI assured us of help in stopping sale of loose soybean oil,” he added.

The meeting was also told that Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection will monitor whether soybean oil is being sold at reduced price of Tk185 a litre from Wednesday.

A state of opening and settlement of letter of credits (LCs) on import of sugar, soybean and palm oil in 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscal years was presented at the meeting.

LCs were opened to import 1,959,940 tonnes of unrefined sugar and 35,773 tonnes of refined sugar in 2020-21 fiscal while LCs were opened to import 2,251,000 tonnes of unrefined sugar and 127,367 tonnes of refined sugar in 2021-22 fiscal.

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