Govt resets retail sugar price at Tk 49
Wednesday, 07 October 2009

The government has re-set mill, retail and wholesale prices of sugar in an attempt to stabilise the cost of the essential that remains artificially high following hikes during Ramadan.

The mill gate price will be Tk 45 per kg, wholesale Tk 46 and retail Tk 48-49, commerce secretary Firoz Ahmed told reporters after a meeting with mill owners at the Secretariat on Wednesday

"Though sugar is being sold at Tk 54-55 in retail markets we hope it won't be sold more than Tk 50 from today," Ahmed said.

"The government will take stern measures against the responsible traders if sugar is sold over Tk 50," he warned.

The commerce ministry will monitor sugar market every day, the secretary said.

The owners of sugar mills and sugar traders apart, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries president Annisul Huq was also present in the meeting.

Commerce minister Faruq Khan held a meeting with the owners of sugar mills, the sugar traders and the FBCCI on Tuesday to decide the price of sugar at mill gates, retail and wholesale, reviewing the prices of sugar in international markets.

During Ramadan, the government fixed the mill gate price of sugar at Tk 39 per kg after a meeting with mill owners and retailers.

Contrary to the decision, sugar prices jumped up to Tk 60 per kg on retail markets. It continues to sell dear.

According to the government's trading arm, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, sugar is selling at Tk 55-58 per kg in the capital's kitchen markets.

Recently, the commerce minister told the reporters that intelligence sources attributed the artificially high sugar prices to "syndicates" created by some mill owners and wholesalers.

He said the perpetrators would be brought to book.

Quoting intelligence sources, some newspapers published names of the accused mill owners and wholesalers. Most of the accused mill owners and traders attended Tuesday's meeting.

FBCCI president Annisul Huq told reporters on Tuesday: "The price of sugar is being hiked at the mill gate in line with higher prices in the international market."

Huq said, "During Ramadan, the government fixed price of sugar at Tk 39 per kg when its price on the international market was $500 per metric tonne."

"Now it has exceeded $600 on the international market," he said.

In light of higher global prices, Huq said, the price hike of sugar at the mill gate is "rational."


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