Dhaka, Jan 4 (Just News): Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has warned the government of far-reaching fallout from soaring onion prices.
“Beware of onion. It’s too toxic. This commodity even changed the Delhi government four-five years ago,” Kamal said at a discussion at Dhaka’s NEC seminar hall on Thursday.
Onion retailed at Tk 100 a kg last month, before it came down to Tk 75-80.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has cited low production as part of the reason for the price hike.
The production was insufficient in India, a major import destination for Bangladesh, worsening the situation in the local market, he said.
Kamal cited last year’s floods as the reason for the price hike. He was speaking as the chief guest at a discussion on “New Foundation of GDP and Correction” in the presence of Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Adviser Mashiur Rahman.
A report produced by the South Asian Network on Economic Model or SANEM claims that 500,000 people went below the poverty line due to a rice price hike last year.
“I don’t think people can go below the poverty line only because of a rise in prices of rice and onion. There are other parameters of measuring poverty.”
He expressed optimism that economic growth will remain upwards in 2018.
“With existing investments and industries, it is possible to achieve 8 percent GDP growth in 2019.”
Economist Wahiduddin Mahmud claimed the government was not allocating enough funds for the health and education sectors.
Mashiur Rahman stressed upgrading the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and said: “BBS must be error-free and in sync with time.”
“The population becomes an asset only when its quality is high,” said AB Mirza Azizul Islam, a caretaker government adviser.