April 13, 2021


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Permission to import Indian onions stopped

Onion imports from India have come down drastically due to the ban on issuing IP or import clearance certificates for onion imports. Now the onions that are coming are approved last December. The government has stopped allowing new imports to ensure fair prices for onions produced in the country. If the Department of Agriculture does not allow new imports or renew expired certificates, the import of onions from India will stop completely after this April.


The government’s agriculture department wants fresh onions not to come from India this season. Because the new season onions produced in the country have started coming to the market; And they will continue till next August. Until then, the farmers have to make sure that they get a fair price.

However, traders have re-applied for onion imports from India for fear of market turmoil during Ramadan; Lots of applications have been received for renewal of the certificate. But the agriculture department is not giving new approval as there is no high level guidance from the government.

Shahidul Islam, owner of Raihan Traders, an onion importer at Healy land port, told Kaler Kanth, “I have applied for an IP to import 500 tonnes of onions. But not yet approved. I am not sure when I will get it. Emphasizing on imports, he said the government has increased tariffs to ensure a fair price for farmers, as imports from India have plummeted. So stopping imports could create instability in that opportunity. Then the traders will have to listen to the notoriety.

Permission certificate for onion import has to be obtained from the Department of Plant Quarantine of the Department of Agriculture. Mohammad Anwar Hossain, the new director of the department, told Kaler Kanth, “I have not allowed the import of onions since December. I am not renewing the expired import certificate. It is possible to bring onions till April with the previous certificate. Because a permit is valid for four months. If we do not renew after that, there will be no chance of imported onions from April. This decision is in the interest of the farmers of the country. ‘

These onions reach the country from India through various land ports with the import permit certificate. As one can see, a total of 26,072 tons of onions arrived in the country in 14 working days from March 22 to April 7 this year. In other words, more than two thousand tons of onions are being imported daily.

An official of the agriculture department said, “Huge IPs have been submitted and applications for renewal of certificates have also been submitted.” We want to import 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes of onions by April. Then no one will get a chance to destabilize the market during Ramadan. Then the next decision can be taken after looking at the situation. ‘

Indian and local onions are now in competition in the market. After Shabebarat and the day before the start of the unannounced lockdown in the coronavirus situation, the price of onion has gone up a bit but now it has gone down. Onions of Indian Nasik variety are being sold at Tk 28 per kg, Khaskhali variety at Tk 25 per kg and onions of Desi Meherpur at Tk 24 per kg, Faridpur and Pabna at Tk 28 per kg. However, Khatunganj warehouseman Mohammad Idris said some traders would take the opportunity if Indian onion imports were completely stopped. Then who will guarantee that they will not disturb the market by buying and storing domestic onions? For this, imports should be kept in a controlled manner without being completely stopped.

It is learned that every year during the onion production season in Bangladesh, the Indian government lifts the export ban. After that onion came to the country, Bangladeshi farmers could not sell the onion they produced; Lose interest in onion production. This time too there was that continuity; But the government has implemented a decision to highly protect farmers and ensure increased onion production. That is, the government has allowed the import of onions from India but has imposed tariffs. This is the first time that it has imposed 5 percent regulatory duty and 5 percent duty. Under this condition, the price of onion imported from India was up to Rs 48 per kg. But local onions were being sold at Tk 28 to 32 per kg. As a result, onion imports from India were stopped due to inability to compete. But with the purchase price of onions in India declining in March and the season of murikata onions coming to an end in Bangladesh, Indian onions started coming again.