The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has imposed a 10% regulatory duty on the import of onion in accordance with the recommendation of the commerce ministry.
At the same time, the government has reduced duty on rice import from 62.5% to 15%.
The NBR announced the decisions in a separate Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) signed by its Chairman Abu Hena Rahmatul Munim on Thursday.
Apart from rice and onions, a separate SRO has been issued, extending the period of duty exemption on the import of corona products.
The SRO also imposed a 10% regulatory duty on onion import under the special power of the President and revoked the 5% supplementary duty stated in the budget.
Mohammad Meraj-ul-Alam, NBR first secretary (customs policy), said the decision was made to protect local producers. This decision will be effective from today (Thursday).
Farmers and traders are in trouble as onions have started coming to Bangladesh from India recently.
Sources said this imported product from Egypt and Turkey is rotting away while traders are facing losses.
If Indian onions continue to arrive in the country, the price of local onions will fall and the farmers will be affected.
In such a situation, the Ministry of Commerce wrote a letter to the National Board of Revenue on 3 January requesting an imposition of 35% import duty on onions to protect local onion growers.
Meanwhile, the price of rice is constantly rising in the market.
The objective was not achieved even by allowing imports to increase the supply of rice. Later, the government decided to import 1 million tonne of rice while tariff was reduced from 62.5% to 25% on 27 December.
Based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Food, the National Board of Revenue reduced the tariff by another 10% and set it at 15%.