This time the government is trying to import edible oil directly through the TCB, Chief Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said.
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will resume selling soybean oil at Tk 110 per liter to one crore families of TCB cardholders from next month, Chief Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said yesterday .
“We are buying edible oil from local and international markets to sell at lower prices as domestic prices have risen on the back of a rise in global edible crude oil prices,” Ghosh told the Daily Star.
This time the government is trying to import edible oil directly through the TCB, he said.
Foreign missions in Bangladesh have already been approached to procure edible oil through the state-owned company, Ghosh also said.
“This time the price might be a bit higher than the previous rate of Tk 110 per liter due to an increase in its local tariffs.”
“The price is not set yet. But we will try to set it at Tk 110 per liter for bottled oil,” the Principal Commerce Secretary also said.
Families holding the TCB card received edible oil at Tk 110 per liter for a month before Eid-ul-Fitr.
Additionally, the open market sale of petroleum along with some other commodities by TCB will resume through 400 trucks in Dhaka and other divisional cities in mid-May, Ghosh said.
“We will hold a meeting with refiners, millers and edible oil wholesalers on May 9 or 11 to find out the situation of stocks, imports and the world edible oil market.”
Last month, the Department of Commerce asked the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to reduce import duties on canola, sunflower and olive oil to 10% from the existing 32% by July of this year in order to increase their imports.
The current market situation is so unstable that the ministry may ask the BNR to implement the duty reduction by this month, he added.
The Ministry of Commerce has tried to import crude edible palm oil from alternative sources like Malaysia and the United States, as its main producer, Indonesia, has banned the export of its refined and crude versions. from April 28.
Bangladesh has forecast an edible oil supply crisis with the proposed export ban, as the country sources 85% of its annual requirement of 11 lakh tonnes of crude palm oil from Indonesia.
The government has increased the prices of bottled edible oil by Tk 38 per liter and those in bulk by Tk 44 per liter from May 6.
A liter of bottled soybean oil is sold at 198 Tk, against 160 Tk, and bulk oil at 180 Tk per liter, against 136 Tk.
The government has raised rates based on the base price of imported crude oil to $1,750 a ton from previous rates of $1,400 for soybean oil and $1,300 for palm oil, it said. said Ghosh.
Earlier on March 16, the government reduced the value added tax on imports of soybeans and palm oil to 5% from 15% previously.
Bangladesh needs about 1.67 lakh tons of edible oil every month and the demand rises to about 3 lakh tons during Ramadan.
Only 2 lakh tons of the country’s annual demand of 20 lakh tons of edible oil comes from local production and the rest from imports.
Bangladesh imports about 5 lakh tons of crude soybean oil and some 24 lakh tons of soybeans annually.
About 4 lakh tonnes of edible oil is produced from the imported seeds, according to Commerce Ministry data.