Proposal for duty withdrawal on onion import to be considered: FnM

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Dhaka, Sept 16: Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said his ministry will consider a proposal for the withdrawal of duty on onion import.

“We’ll definitely consider the matter [duty withdrawal] as we did in the past,” he told reporters responding to a question on withdrawal of duty on onion import.

The Finance Minister was speaking at a virtual briefing session on the outcomes of two consecutive meetings of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Wednesday.

He made the remarks when reporters drew his attention to Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi’s call to the Finance Ministry to withdraw the existing duty on onion import against the backdrop of India’s ban on export of the bulb to Bangladesh and other countries.

The Indian ban on onion export to Bangladesh has triggered an unusual upward trend in its prices. The onion price shot to about Tk 100 from the normal price of Tk 30 in the local market. A bulk import of such an essential item usually comes from the neighbouring country.

The Finance Minister said the government is very careful about the adequate supply of all essential commodities, not only about onions. “We, including the Prime Minister, don`t expect any volatile situation of any essential commodities.”

Responding to another question, he said the Asian Development Bank has positively made its projection of 6.8 percent GDP growth in Bangladesh in the current fiscal, which is the third highest in South-East Asia after China and India.

“But we still believe we’ll be able to achieve our targeted 8.2 percent GDP growth in the current fiscal. We all are working to strengthen the economy and dreaming of achieving it,” he added.

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