Terming India's sudden ban on onion exports a big lesson for Bangladesh, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the government has planned to fulfil the local demand of onions by increasing domestic production instead of imports.
During his visit to Rangpur on Saturday, the minister further said that the government has also planned to increase profits of local producers of onions, and ensure that they get a fair price.
Tipu Munshi later said that the killings at the border are irregular incidents, and such issues will not impact the trade relationship between India and Bangladesh.
Adding that there is no possibility of a shortage of oil and sugar in the upcoming month of Ramzan, Tipu Munshi said, "During the previous Ramzan, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh had a stock of 3,000 tonnes. This year, we have set a target to stock 50,000 tonnes of oil.
"We presently have a large enough stock of sugar, and there will be no shortage of in during Ramzan. New harvest of onions will enter the market at that time, and more will also be imported. We are optimistic that there will be no shortage of those commodities."
He continued, "Onion prices in India went well above the prices in Bangladesh, so they halted all export of the kitchen ingredient. However, they [India] should have informed us first. The Ministry of Agriculture is working on increasing domestic production of onions."
Admitting that Bangladesh has a trade deficit with the neighbouring country, Tipu Munshi said that discussions are ongoing with India on several levels and progress is steady.