Dhaka: Inflation has a major impact on prices. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that the Commerce Ministry cannot control prices if there is inflation.
He said that the prices of domestic products are increasing due to rain, transportation and extortion on the way. However, the price of onion and potato will decrease in the middle of next December.
He said these things in response to a question from journalists after the meeting of the National Tariff Policy Monitoring and Review Committee at the Ministry meeting room at the Secretariat on Wednesday (November 8) at noon.
When asked why the prices of our domestic products are increasing, the minister said that the prices of vegetables are sometimes increasing. Besides, the prices are increasing due to rain, transportation and extortion on the way. But for the last two days, the price of vegetables has started decreasing by 20-25 rupees. And within five-seven days the price of winter vegetables will decrease.
He said, when there is inflation, the commerce ministry cannot control prices. Inflation has a major impact on prices. Inflation is now over 9 and a half percent. If it cannot be solved, neither the Ministry of Commerce nor anyone else will be able to exert much influence. However, onion-potatoes will start getting less in the middle of December. Their own production will then begin.
After the price of everything goes up, you decide to import. But because of monitoring the market, you know in advance, so why don’t you take the decision earlier, the commerce minister said, you are a journalist, intelligent enough. As you can see, the permission of the Ministry of Agriculture is required to import potatoes. We took their permission when we gave permission to import potatoes two months ago. They think about it too. Similarly, the permission of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is required for eggs. If we don’t have the support behind, then we can’t do much. When the crisis became apparent, they accepted, but then again it was too late.
Apart from potatoes and eggs, there is discomfort in the market throughout the year, he said in response to a question, if the supply is good, then there is no problem. If the potato remains in excess, then the question is asked, farmers are not getting the price of potatoes, what arrangements have you made? The problem is both ways. He did the promotion so that the production increases.
In response to the question whether there is any good news from the commerce minister for the people in the context of rising prices of everything, he said, one is the production of our country, the other is imported. Different conditions of different things. When will the price of onions decrease? We all understand that when the new onion hits the market, when the farmer harvests the crop. Maybe in the next month the onion will come in the market, then maybe the onion price will come down. Again, as potatoes begin to hit the market by the end of December, prices will come down. Now it is a matter of own production. And when we talk about oil and sugar, it depends on what the price is in the international market. The price will increase or decrease according to the context. Talking about onions, there is a 20 percent shortage of what we need. We fulfill this through imports, 90 percent of which come from India. Prices have gone up there too.
He said, at the moment, in the Indian market, onion is 80 rupees per kg, which is 105 or 110 rupees in our country. I saw yesterday that they have started paying people a subsidized rate of 25 rupees. Our onions are almost finished. That’s why the price of onion depends a lot on our own production. Besides, India has fixed the minimum price of onion at $800. Which is about 95 rupees per kg in our money. They cannot export below that. If we import at that price, per kg onion will fall to 125 or 125 taka. Now we have to rely on our own production.
Tipu Munshi said, similarly the potato we have in cold storage is very tight as per requirement. Hopefully, the potatoes will start growing by the end of December. An early arrival of potatoes from the north in early December will bring down prices a bit. Imports have also started, and the market is beginning to have an impact.
The minister said, “Hopefully, if the import comes well, the price will be saved a little.” Allowed import of eggs, took some time due to various legal complications. The first shipment has already arrived. I see its effect in the market, that egg is available for eleven or eleven and a half taka. Hopefully, if you enter further, the price of eggs that has been determined will be available.
Bangladesh Time: 1452 hours, November 08, 2023