Abu Taher Bappa

Published:
2019-11-06 11:42:28 BdST

Onion ring busted in Ctg


FT ONLINE

A commerce ministry drive has uncovered a 16-member syndicate behind the sharp price hike in Chattogram and adjacent areas.

The syndicate is importing onion at a price of Tk 42 per kg and selling at Tk 80 to 90 in the wholesale markets of Chattogram and Cox's Bazar.

As a result, the price of onion at the retail level is Tk120 to 140 per kg now in the port city and its adjoining areas.

The commerce ministry with the help of the Chattogram district administration raided the wholesale and retail markets in the port-city to control the price hike of onion on Monday and Tuesday.

Commerce ministry deputy secretary Md Selim Hossain along with magistrates led the raids aided by mobile courts at the wholesale markets and warehouses at Khatunganj, Asadganj and Chaktai in the port-city.

During the raid, the officials checked the invoice of the importers and the documents on imports and sales. The team found that a 16 -member syndicate was involved in the price hike of onion in greater Chattogram.

Of the 16 members of the syndicate, 12 importers, wholesalers and C&F (clearing and forwarding) agents are from Cox's Bazar, two wholesalers from Khatunganj and two wholesalers from Reajuddin Bazar.

Talking to journalists after a meeting on Tuesday, Md Selim Hossain said, "After checking the import documents, we found the names of five enterprises who are also importers. Later, we learned about the 11 remaining names from the importers and wholesalers at Khatunganj and Reajuddin Bazar. As a result, we are sure that a 16-member syndicate is involved in the price hike of onion."

He further said, "We have already told Chattogram and Cox's Bazar district administration to take action against the said syndicate."

He informed journalists that the importers were importing onion from Myanmar at Tk 42 per kg. They can sell the onion in the local market Tk 60 per kg. But, they are selling it at Tk 8o to 90 in the wholesale market. In the retail market in the port-city, traders are selling onion at Tk 120 to 140 per kg now.

He also said, "In the wholesale market, the price cannot be more than Tk 60 per kg while in the retail market the price cannot be more than Tk 70 per kg."

According to the findings of the administration, the members of the syndicate are importers Momo, Sajib, Saddam and Jahir of Teknaf, wholesalers Forkan, Gafur, Mintu, Khalek and Tipu of Teknaf, broker Shafi and Alif Enterprise of Teknaf, C & F agent of Teknaf port Kader, Ajmir Bhandar and Allahar Dan Store of Khatunganj and Shourav Enterprise and A Hossain Brothers of Nupur Market at Reajuddin Bazar in Chattogram.

Their details are as follows:

1. Sajib (Importer)- Mobile: +8801404763792, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
2. Momo (Mog) (Importer)- +8801979751364, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
3. Forkan (Retailer) - +8801978674361, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
4. Jahir (Importer)- +8801999905692, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
5. Saddam (Importer)- +88001975101326, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
6. Kader ( C&F Agent): +8801973677939, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
7. Shofi (Broker)- +8801966172472, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
8. Gafur (Seller)- +8801301042779, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
9. Mintu (Seller)- +8801409092945, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
10. Khaleq (Seller)- +8801907704141, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
11. Tipu (Seller)- +8801968153590, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
12. M/S Ajmeer Bhandar- +8801971609925; 109 Khatunganj, Chattogram
13. M/S Showrav Enterprise, Nupur Market, 86, Station Road, Chattogram 
14. A Hosen Brothers, 129/18; Khaja Dastageer Manshon (ground floor), Ghoshal Quarter, Chattogram
15. M/S Alif Enterprise, Jessy House, K K Para, Teknaf, Cox'sbazar
16. M/S Allahar Dan Store, Khatunganj, Chattogram

Organising Secretary of Khatungonj Trade and Industries Association Jamal Hossain said that it is unfortunate that the importers who are responsible for price hike of onion here in Chattogram are from Cox's Bazar.

But the commerce ministry and the local administration were conducting raids at Khatunganj, Reajuddin Bazar and Asadganj almost every day. "The administration is harassing our traders and businesspeople," he said.

He also said, "We don't want to hike the price of onion. The government should take action against those people who are involved in the price hike of onion in the country. But, the traders and wholesalers of Chattogram are not involved in the price hike."

A mobile court of Chattogram district administration fined the wholesaler Grameen Banijoyloy Tk 5,000 for selling onion at a high price on Monday.

Executive Magistrate of Chattogram district administration Md Ashraful Alam said, "As per directives of higher authority, Chattogram district administration is conducting raids at the wholesale markets and godowns of onion. We are trying to control the price hike of onion in wholesale and retail markets which is created by the traders."

He said, "Some dishonest importers and wholesale traders tried to create an artificial crisis in the market. So, we are continuing the mobile court and monitoring the market every day. The monitoring will continue until further order."

On the other hand, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) was yet to sell the onion in the port-city. As a result, the price of onion was not under control at the retail markets.

However, Mohammed Idris, general secretary of Chattogram Onion Importers Association, said, "The price of onion in wholesale markets is already under control after it was imported from Myanmar."

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