With assurance of getting some benefits form the government, bottled edible oil producers and marketing companies have backtracked on their decision to raise soybean oil price by Tk8 per litre.
The decision came at a meeting of Commerce Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin with the soybean oil producers at the ministry on Sunday.
Meeting sources said the ministry has rejected the proposal for price hike.
During the meeting, the producers sought some benefits from the government, which include simplifying taxation for soybean processors by allowing them to pay value-added tax at one stage instead of three and withdrawing 5 percent advance tax while importing unrefined soybean oil.
They also demanded the opportunity to lower the rate of Vitamin A in each litre of bottled soybean oil from existing 15-30 ppm to 7.5 ppm.
In the meeting, the commerce secretary reassured the oil producers saying that the government will take their demands into consideration, but asked them not to hike the price of soybean oil now.
He also asked the oil producers to reduce the commission at the distributor level from Tk4 to Tk3, and at the retailer level from Tk8 to Tk5.
He also requested the businessmen to take into account the consumers' interest.
Regarding the demands placed by the businessmen, the secretary said the higher government authorities will take care of the issues.
He said he will also write a letter to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) so it can take necessary measures in this regard.
City Group Director Biswajit Saha told The Business Standard that they had proposed for increasing the price of soybean oil in line with the international market.
"But so far no decision has been taken in this regard. We have placed some demands; the government has assured us of addressing those," he said.
On December 12, the association of the cooking oil refiners and producers put forward a proposal to the Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) to raise the soybean price – from Tk102 to Tk110 for one litre bottled soybean oil, Tk202 to Tk218 for two-litre, and from Tk500 to Tk540 for five-litre bottled soybean oil.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the price of loose soybean oil has increased by 5.45 percent per litre, and that of bottled soybean oil by 2.44 percent in the last month.