As part of its continuing drive to tackle soaring onion prices, a special team of the Ministry of Commerce conducted a raid on country's largest wholesale kitchen market in Chattogram's Khatunganj on Monday and fined a wholesaler Tk50,000.
The team, led by commerce ministry Deputy Secretary Md Selim Hossen, fined wholesaler 'Grameen Banijjoloy' for overcharging customers.
Selim Hossen said, "We are monitoring the onion market across the country. The wholesale price of imported Burmese onion cannot be more than Tk60 per kilogram. However, customers are being charged Tk90 by retailers. It is supposed to be Tk70 highest."
"It is absurd," commented the government official.
In the meantime, Executive Magistrate Towhidul Islam said they stopped an onion-laden truck from Khatunganj to Cumilla. The onion consignment was purchased at Tk90 per kilogram.
"The gap between the import price and the wholesale price at Khatunganj is huge," said the magistrate adding Monday's raid on Khatunganj was conducted based on information collected from the Cumilla-bound vehicle.
"Action will be taken if any wholesaler charges more than Tk60 for per kilogram," Towhidul Islam said.
Deputy Director of the Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection Shahida Sultana, Muhammad Hasanuzzaman and a good number of law enforcers were present during the drive at Khatunganj.
Another similar raid was conducted on the kitchen market on Sunday and four wholesalers were fined a total of Tk1.30 lakh.