Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh has said that onion prices will take at least a month to stabilise.
He made the remark while addressing the media after a meeting on the current stock, import, supply, and prices of daily essentials held at the Secretariat on Monday.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, high officials of the ministry, NBR, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), Bangladesh Competition Commission (BCC), stakeholders and business leaders attended the meeting.
The commerce secretary said, "Onion prices have shot up due to the heavy downpours in Bangalore, India. Traders of the neighbouring countries are also responsible for this. According to the agriculture ministry, the situation will take at least a month to stabilise. Until the supply of new onions increases."
He further said, "We have already sent a letter to NBR for the withdrawal of the 5% duty on onion imports. We had a discussion on the overall situation of the essential commodities market, mainly onion prices.
"With the government's immediate intervention, the prices have already gone down by Tk5 to Tk6 per kg. Prices will go down further in the coming days."
The commerce secretary said, "80% of our onion demands are met by domestic production. For the rest we have to rely on imports mostly on India. But rains in Bangalore and fears that India may suspend exports in September-October destabilised the market."
Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, "Efforts are being made to control the prices of essential products. But we can't interfere everywhere."
The minister went on saying, "Bangladesh currently has five lakh tonnes of onion in its stock. We are hopeful that the integrated initiative for importing onion will bring the onion market under control."