Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi. COURTESY
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi Monday said the government has taken strict action to ensure normal supply situation of the edible oil side by side selling the oil at fixed prices at the retail level.
"We have told all the agencies to take stern action so that there is no fraud anywhere. Oil should be sold at the price that has been fixed," he said while speaking to reporters following a meeting with soybean oil vendors at his office in the secretariat.
Referring the recent rise the price of edible oil in the international market, he said, "Considering the price situation in the international market and neighboring countries, we are trying to keep the price of edible oil in the local market as low as possible."
He said the real reason behind the shortage of edible oil supply during Eid has been identified.
"Attempts have been made to stockpile oil at the dealer and retail level. As a result, there is a shortage in supply. That's why the Directorate of Consumers Right Protection is conducting raids at the store and dealer level, they are also imposing fines," he said.
He said "We have asked the traders' association to cancel the dealership of those who have committed this heinous act."
Tipu informed that the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will resume sale of edible oil at Taka 110 a litre of bottled soybean oil from June to its one crore cardholder families.
"We will sell the edible oil at Taka 110 per litre to one crore TCB cardholder families from June," he added.
Among others, Senior Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh and Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission Chairman (Secretary) Md Afzal Hossain, among others, were present on the occasion.
Tipu said the price situation of edible oil in the world market needs to be highlighted through publicity.
"Edible oil is an import dependent product. Only 10 per cent of the country's total demand is being met from local production. The remaining 90 per cent is being imported. This has also affected our country due to rising prices of edible oil in the international market and transportation costs," he added.
He said the government is trying to keep the price of edible oil at a reasonable level and supply in normal so that there is no shortage of oil in the market.
Recently, Bangladesh's edible oil refiners increased the price of bottled soya bean oil by Taka 38 a litre to Taka 198 a litre.
Highlighting the price of edible oil in the international market and neighboring countries, Tipu Munshi said that soybean oil is currently being sold at Bangladeshi Taka 213 to 224 per liter in India, Taka 236 to 238 per liter in Pakistan and Taka 197 to 214 per liter in Nepal.
He mentioned that soybean oil in the international market is US$2,000 per ton and the price of palm oil is $1950 per ton.
The minister said the rise in edible oil prices in the international market and rising transport costs have had an impact on the local market.
He sought the cooperation of the media to make the people aware about the rising prices of edible oil in the international market.