‘Disappearing’onion frustrates Khulna people


Staff Reporter:

Amid the soaring prices of onion, the government has decided started to sell onion through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) from October 1 to stabilise its overheated market.

But Khulna TCB chief Robiul Morshed says he does not know if onion will be sold in the district.

Onion prices have soared in the local market after India banned its export from Sunday to “improve domestic availability”.

The move pushed up onion prices to over Tk 100 at many places across Bangladesh.

In a swift move, the government decided to sell onion through TCB from Tuesday at Tk 45 per kg and the commerce secretary said there is an adequate stock. He said TCB will sell onion until the price becomes stable.

The government also moved to import onion from Myanmar, Turkey and Egypt.

But the assurances seem to have had little impact.

In Khulna, TCB started selling goods such as sugar, pulse and oil at nine points of the city, including Moylapota, from Monday. Many people had gone to the TCB truck hoping to purchase onion but had to return empty-handed.

Jashim Sarkar, a rickshaw puller, was one of them. “I was told that TCB is selling onion,” he said. “But there’s no onion here.”

Jaytun Begum, a resident of the area, was similarly disappointed. “I came here seeing a TCB truck but it’s not selling onion,” she said.

Rabiul Morshed, chief of Khulna TCB office, said onion is currently being sold in Dhaka. “There’s a possibility that it will be sold in Khulna through TCB after Dhaka,” he said.

The local variety of onion was being sold at Tk 120 per kg while the Indian variety cost Tk 90-95 at various markets in the city. At the wholesale market, local onion is being sold at Tk 100 per kg and the Indian variety at Tk 95.

Saiful Islam, a trader of Borobazar area, said India’s export ban pushed up the onion prices.

Milon Farazi, an importer, said: “Twenty truckloads of onion (400 tonnes) is needed every day to meet the demand in Khulna but only three truckloads were imported on Sunday. No onion was imported on Monday.”unb


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