Imports of fruits have fallen by 40 percent in a year due to rising tariffs and complications in opening credit cards. And the price hike has reduced sales by up to 75 percent. This account is for wholesalers and importers.
In this, the duty has increased by 32 taka per kg of apples, 35 taka in Malta and 21 taka in grapes. Due to which the retail price of these fruits has increased by an average of 100 taka per kg. If this situation continues, there are fears of market destabilization in Roja.
This is the picture of a fruit shop in Karwan Bazar in the capital on Monday at 11 am. Even a few years ago, there used to be throngs of shoppers at this time. Now the picture is very different. Hours pass, but the buyer is nowhere to be seen.
Common people say that they have reduced their purchases due to the increase in the price of fruits. Even if imported fruits are bought for patients or children, it is very less in quantity.
But a couple of years ago, the demand for these fruits was upward. To reduce dollar spending, the government raises tariffs on foreign imports as part of discouraging imports. In this, the duty has increased by 32 taka per kg of apples, 35 taka in Malta and 21 taka in grapes. Due to which the retail price of these fruits has increased by an average of 100 taka per kg.
According to the data of Bangladesh Fresh Fruit Importers Association, 60-65 percent of the fruits in the country’s market are imported from abroad. A few years ago the country’s fruit market was dominated by imported foreign fruits.
However, due to the dollar crisis as well as increased customs duty rates, the imported fruit market collapsed.
Badamtali is the major wholesale market for imported fruits in the capital. Businessmen say that the sales have decreased by 75 percent. They alleged that the customs authorities have destabilized the fruit market by increasing the duty rate on imported foreign fruits without any reasonable reason. Especially, earlier, the duty was 62 taka per kg of apples, oranges and malta, but now it has been reduced to 88 taka. Similarly, the duty rate of Tk 98 grapes has been fixed at Tk 119.
Sirajul Islam, president of Fresh Fruits Importers Association, claims that there is no reasonable reason to increase the duty rate. The instability has started in the market. Which may increase during Ramadan.
60 percent of the total demand of fruits in the country’s market depends on imports.