The imported onion cannot be sold for any less than Tk 55 a kg by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh or other retailers because it costs Tk 42-43 to import each kg of the spice, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said yesterday.
The TCB and some businesses have been importing onions from Turkey, Egypt, Myanmar and Holland after the largest source India banned onion export in September.
The state-owned TCB was then allowed to import onions to meet the demand, the minister said.
The importing cost of onions from India is usually about Tk 23 each kg. But India has unfortunately imposed the ban without prior notice because the prices also went up in Indian markets, he said.
The minister said these at the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) Best Reporting Award ceremony at its office in the capital.
He added that unloading of imported onions started at Chattogram port a week ago.
“We have the target to import four lakh tonnes so that we can serve the domestic markets until the next harvesting season,” Munshi told The Daily Star.
S Alam Group, TK Group, Meghna Group and City Group have also been importing onions along with the TCB, the minister said.
The country has a demand of over 25 lakh tonnes of onion a year. Nine lakh tonnes have to be imported, mostly from India.
At yesterday’s event, 15 reporters of different print and electronic media outlets were awarded for best performance in their respective fields. ERF leaders Saif Islam Dilal, Shamsul Huq Zahid, S M Rashidul Islam, Kazi Faisal Bin Siraj and coordinator of the jury board for the award Serajul Islam Quadir also spoke.