Commerce minister Tipu Munshi said that many people are demanding his resignation, and he is willing to do it if that helps bring down the price of onions.
His anguish comes in the wake of the recent hike in the price of onions in markets across the country.
The minister made the comment at a discussion on businessmen's role in preventing the price hike of daily commodities. The Awami League's Industry and Commerce Sub-Committee organised the meeting at a hotel in the capital on Tuesday, December 3.
Tipu Munshi highlighted the reasons for the onion price increase. He said that about 1 lakh tonnes of onions come to the market every month around the end of each year.
However, with India banning the export of onions, that number has plummeted to 25 thousand tonnes.
Onions were imported from Myanmar. But due to a high demand, the prices have gone up there as well. Onion prices are high in all the countries of the region.
Referring to various measures that have been taken to tackle the price of onions, the minister said, "Businesses reacted positively after we requested them to import onions urgently. The prime minister herself phoned the head of the S Alam group."
He thanked the City, the Meghna and the S. Alam groups for importing onions in compliance with the government's request. They imported onions at a cost of Tk42.5 per kg and gave them to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.
"But others are also importing onions and selling them at a very high price," vented Tipu Munshi.
The minister expressed frustration on people who are only interested in profiteering. He said these people have no moral standing, even during a crisis.
He explained a plan to make the country self-reliant on onions within the next three years.
"The prime minister has been consulted. When the new crop of onions is harvested, I will stop the import of onions from India," the minister said.
The price of onions has been high since November. Onions that used to be sold for Tk30 to Tk35 per kg have sky rocketed in price, and are being sold for more than Tk250 per kg now.