Bangladesh’s agriculture ministry to fix food prices to stabilise market

The commerce minister says the government is focusing on agriculture to avert a possible food crisis with a global recession looming

Published : 17 Sept 2022, 01:49 PM
Updated : 17 Sept 2022, 01:49 PM

 The commerce ministry will write to the agriculture ministry to fix the prices of certain essential goods every month in an effort to stabilise the commodity market. 

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Aug 30 the Tariff Commission would sit with business leaders and start the work within 15 days to announce the prices of certain products. 

On Friday, he said it would take seven more days to finish the work to fix the prices of goods -- rice, wheat, cooking oil, onion, sugar, iron rod and cement. 

But speaking at a meeting with the Overseas Correspondents Association of Bangladesh in Dhaka on Saturday, Munshi said the agriculture ministry objected to fixing the prices of nine products. 

“We can fix the prices of only soybean oil and sugar. The agriculture ministry will work on the prices of other commodities because they have the legal authority to do so. The announcement on fixing prices must come from the agriculture ministry,” he said. 

Munshi said local entrepreneurs need support to survive, but imports are also necessary to provide cheap products to consumers. 

“If the agriculture ministry gives a positive response, we will be able to keep the prices down by importing food products, including eggs.” 

“We will send a letter to the agriculture ministry and it will fix the prices in a week,” he said. 

Munshi said he was concerned by the World Bank prediction of a global recession in 2023 with the Russia-Ukraine war continuing. 

“We are aware of the warning. We’ve talked to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We will pay more attention to agriculture. There will be no food crisis in the country if we can increase production.” 

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher