Thursday, 9th February, 2023
Thursday, 9th February, 2023

Refiners demand new meeting to refix edible oil price

Edible oil refiners want the government to sit again for refixing edible oil prices in two weeks after a meeting of concerned government agencies decided on latest edible oil price on Wednesday last. They have raised new demand pointing at new price hike in international market.
Commerce Minister Tiu Munshi presided over the meeting while all stakeholders related to oil import and marketing attended it.
President of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) president Gulam Rahman has ridiculed the demand saying any new meeting means raising price again when existing price level is too high and above consumers affordability.
When contacted Bishwajit Saha, director of City Group, a major edible importer, told the Daily Observer that the latest global market price is making a new meting inevitable to set new prices. He said, “We are not above the government and we are obeying new prices at mill gates at low profit margin importing at higher prices.”
Ghulam Rahman said new price fixation means consumers will face the extra burden. He said it is true edible oil prices are higher in international market and importers will seek to earn profit. But consumers should be saved at the same time and the government should seek alternative ways like reducing VAT and other taxes.
It may also increase open market sales through TCB outlets. Rahman said once the importers and refiners see low VAT and taxes they will not seek for refixing prices.
People watching the recent move to fix edible oil prices however sounded critical about it. They said the recent meeting has already posted the new price to a new height. The government can’t go this way. People want the government to rein in the market and bring down prices. Business can’t control the government.
Though the government has fixed edible oil prices just three days ago, how refiners can raise demand for new meeting to increase price again blaming new rise of price in global market. It is a set game every year being orchestrated before the fasting month of Ramada.
When contacted Nazrul Islam, Owner, Ittadi General Store in Zigatola and a retailer said, “Currently we are selling at the government fixed maximum retail prices (MRP) and no one can flout this rule.”
Earlier to keep the prices of crude soybean and palm oil stable, the government has set a maximum limit of price three days ago.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi made the announcement at a press conference of the National Committee on Marketing and Distribution of Essential Products at the Secretariat ahead of the arrival of the month of Ramada.
The commerce minister said the price has been fixed in consultation with edible oil importers and traders. The new price range says price of soybean (open) has been fixed at Tk107 per liter at mill gate, distributor’s lvel at Tk110 and retailer’s at Tk115 per liter.
Bottled soybean’s mill gate price is at Tk123 per liter, distributor price at Tk127 and retail price at Tk135. A 5 liter bottled soybean mill gate price is at Tk585, distributor’s price is Tk600 and retail price is Tk625.
“About 70 per cent of the oil we use in our country is palm super which price per liter is refixed at Tk95 per liter (open), Tk98 distributor and Tk104 per liter in the retail market”, the minister said.
He said NBR has already been requested to determine the VAT on imports of unrefined soybeans and palm oil at a more reasonable rate considering the interests of the consumers, he said.

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