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Demand withdrawal of high duty to control the price of dates in Roja

by Afonso
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Traders want the government’s support to make dates available during fasting. They said, one hundred and fifty percent duty has to be paid on the import of dates. Besides, there is also shortage of dollars to open LCs. So it may be difficult to get dates in the coming Ramadan. Traders said these things in an exchange of views with the Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection in the capital’s Karwan Bazar.

National Board of Revenue NBR imposes high duty on foreign fruits including dates to discourage imports due to dollar crunch.

President of Bangladesh Fresh Foods Importer Association Sirajul Islam said, ‘Ramadan is three months away. However, only 17 percent of the demand for dates has been imported into the country. Due to the high duty rate, the price of dates has gone up and traders have reduced imports.’

Ramadan next March. During this time, local fruits are less available in the market. Traders also demand to reduce the duty on the import of foreign fruits.

Secretary of Bangladesh Fresh Foods Importer Association Nuruddin Ahmed said, ‘This time when the month of Ramadan has fallen, our local fruits are less available at that time of the year. Therefore, the dependence on foreign fruits will increase to meet the demand of fruits during Ramadan. So the import duty should be reduced so that prices do not go out of control.’

The Directorate of Consumer Affairs will recommend to the Ministry so that consumers can eat dates at affordable prices during Ramadan. The DG of the organization directed the traders to keep the ripe vouchers again.

Director General of Consumer Rights Protection Directorate. H. M. Safikuzzaman said, ‘Consumer rights will regularly supervise to keep the price of dates under control during Ramadan. The department will recommend to keep the price of dates bearable.’

The annual demand of dates in the country is 80 thousand tons. Of which 60 thousand tons are taken in Ramadan.



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