October 28, 2003


Ramadan begins in Bangladesh with onion price still on the higher side (More than Taka 30 a Kg). Onion is needed in larger amounts in cooking many delicious foods during Ramadan. It is also a staple food for Bangladeshis as nearly all meat and fish dishes contain onions.

It is usual in Ramadan time that the demand of Onion soars and the prices too because of the clever hoarders. But this time the rise is significant and almost out of reach of the low income group.

Most onions are imported from India and wholesalers have suddenly increased prices. They blame the rises on shortages caused by recent monsoon floods in Bangladesh and India, as well as higher transportation costs due to increased fuel prices.

The government has waived import duties on the vegetable but there is no significant effect till now. Some also blame the government for failing to control prices and unscrupulous traders who hoard onions to make quick profits.

The Ministry of Commerce has held frequent meetings with wholesalers, retailers and trading agencies but says it can do little to control prices in Bangladesh's free-market economy. But general people would not understand all these and this will remain to be a pressure on the ruling government which has also not been able to control the growing violences and law and order situation of the country.


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