Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that he will consider withdrawing the existing 5 percent import duty on onions. "We don't want people to suffer. We will consider withdrawing the existing 5 percent import duty on onions," he told the media after the purchase meeting of the cabinet on Wednesday.
"The government does not have the intention to collect duty from daily commodity items. When the price of something increases due to import duty, the ministry is made responsible for the price hike," he added.
The finance minister also said that the government will fix the issues regarding onions like it did in the years before. The government added 5% import duty on onions in the FY2020-21 budget in order to ensure a fair price of locally produced onions.
With the price of onions increasing in the local market, The Ministry of Commerce sent a letter to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) on September 7, asking it to withdraw import duty on onions.
In a letter on September 14, the NBR said that local farmers will not get a fair price and the dependency on imported onions will increase if such a decision is taken. It also said that a 5 percent import tax is not making much of an impact on the price hike of onions.
On Wednesday, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that the ministry again requested the NBR chairman to withdraw the import duty till March next year.