Govt to conduct fresh cost analysis of bottled soya bean oil
The commerce ministry on Sunday asked the Tariff Commission to conduct a fresh cost analysis of packed soya bean oil amid complaints that the commodity is selling at high prices. The prices of soya bean oil decreased by 23.80 per cent on the international market in the last six months but the prices of bottled soya bean oil remained unchanged on the local market while the prices of unpacked item decreased a bit. Few months ago the Tariff Commission assessed that the prices of bottled soya bean oil should be Tk 96.88 a litre as the unpacked item was being sold at Tk 84.24 a litre. But bottled soya bean oil was selling at Tk 112- Tk 115 a litre. Millers did not agree with the assessment of the Tariff Commission and kept the price of the item unchanged. A national committee under the commerce ministry on essential commodities on Sunday held a meeting with millers and decided to conduct a fresh cost analysis of bottled soya bean oil. ‘We have asked the Tariff Commission to conduct a fresh assessment of the cost of soya bean oil and representatives of millers will be involved with the process as millers did not agree with the previous assessment conducted by the commission,’ commerce secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamoon told New Age. He said that the Tariff Commission would sit with millers by the next week in this regard. At the beginning of Sunday’s meeting commerce minister Tofail Ahmed asked millers to keep the prices of daily commodities stable. Mentioning the international market trend he said that the prices of soya bean oil had been decreasing on the world market and the local price of the commodity should be revised. ‘We do not want to set prices of the commodities but millers will have to ensure reasonable prices,’ Tofail said. Millers demanded one-stage taxation on imported essential commodities instead of the existing three stages to ensure hassle-free supply chain. The commerce minister said that the demand of millers was logical and the government would consider the matter. Md Fazlur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association, said that they discussed the price of bottled soya bean oil in the meeting and decided to resolve the price issue through meeting with the Tariff Commission. IndexMundi, a data portal that gathers facts and statistics of international business, showed that the price of soya bean had been maintaining a decreasing trend since May this year. In the last five months (May-September), the price of the commodity decreased by 23.80 per cent to $711.74 from $934.10, according to the data. In October the price of soya bean oil increased by 1.35 to $ 721.38, IndexMund showed. Unpacked soya bean oil is being sold on the local market at Tk 85 a litre while the bottled item was retailing at Tk 116 a litre for the last five months. Bottled soya bean oil (five litres) was selling at Tk 560 in the city’s kitchen markets. Md Helal Uddin, vice-president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said that representatives of refiners and the FBCCI would hold meeting with the Tariff Commission to asses the cost of bottled soya bean oil. Considering the import cost of the item the commission and millers would re-analyse the cost and set a reasonable price for the edible oil, he said.
Source: New Age