Bangladesh Writes to India to Allow Export of Onions Under Existing Letter of Credit

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ten data blog11-12-2023

india export,india export onion,india onion exports

The Government of Bangladesh has taken the initiative to import about 52,000 metric tons of onions from India to curb the prices of essential commodities in the local kitchen market.

The Ministry of Commerce has written to the Bangladesh High Commission to take necessary action.

Besides, the deputy commissioners have also been asked to strictly monitor the situation in their respective districts to ensure that onions are sold at reasonable prices in the kitchen market.

Onion prices in the local market soared after India extended onion export restrictions on December 7th. But before India took action, Bangladesh had opened a letter of credit to import about 52,000 tons of onion from India. The government has now initiated the process to import that amount of onions from India soon.

In an interview with BSS, Commerce Ministry Senior Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said action has been taken to import 52,000 metric tonnes of onions from India once a letter of credit has been opened in this regard before the neighboring country extends the restriction.

"We have taken various initiatives to control the price of onions. We are also trying to increase import of onions from other countries. Apart from this, TCB will continue to sell onions to low-income people." He said, adding that the deputy commissioners concerned have been asked to monitor the sale of onions at reasonable prices in various districts.

The Senior Secretary, Ministry of Commerce also appealed to the business community in the country to be more responsible so that the common man does not suffer from the rising prices of essential commodities.

"It is not always right for the government to solve all problems. Businessmen must also realize that business is for the people of the country. On the day the Indian government imposed restrictions on onion exports, the price of onions in our country shot up. Such behavior of the business community is considered irresponsible," Tapan added.

Earlier in the day, while addressing a seminar at NBR Bhaban in the capital's Agargaon district on the occasion of National VAT Day, Tapan questioned how onion prices in the country had risen by Tk 80 per kg in a single day.

"How can a trader who sells onion at Tk 120 per kg one day sell the product at Tk 200 per kg the next day? It takes a long time for the price to go up. But the traders are not showing any sign of it." In this regard, profit mongers are ethical," he added.

The senior commerce minister also said that the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) has been carrying out nationwide operations to control the prices of essential commodities like onions.

India Curbs Onion Exports

India has imposed strict rules on onion exports to counter rising food prices ahead of the upcoming national elections. These rules will remain in place until March 31, except for shipments that were already underway prior to the announcement. The decision comes after the government earlier moved to release stored onions to prevent price hikes for consumers.

In addition to the onion export rules, India is also restricting the use of sugarcane juice to make biofuels to increase sugar reserves. Similar restrictions have been placed on exports of wheat and rice, resulting in global market impacts, potential threats to food supplies in Asia and Africa, and price increases.

The Government's actions are in response to the growing problem of rising food prices. These measures, including export restrictions and increased imports, are expected to last until the national elections in mid-2024. Retail prices of essential commodities such as onions, tomatoes, rice and sugar have risen sharply compared to last year.

India may consider allowing onions to be exported to countries requesting exemptions for food security reasons, similar to the rules for rice shipments. Such flexibility could bring relief to certain countries while India addresses its domestic food supply problems.

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