Rumors rising salt price though adequate reserve
Published: 10:59 PM, 19 November 2019 Updated: 11:09 PM, 19 November 2019
An opportunist group with the collaboration of some unscrupulous businessmen is trying to hike the price of the salt in the country’s market aiming to fulfill the ill interest. However, the Ministry of Industries has said that the country has sufficient salt reserves. The Ministry of Information has also been advised to beware of these rumors. The Consumer Rights Protection Department and the police administration are also on the alert.
Some of the salt traders said there were enough salt reserves in the Chattogram and Cox's Bazar farmers and traders, which is enough to meet the demand for several months. Apart from this, the production of new salt has begun on the farm since November.
According to reports, rumors of the first salt crisis in Sylhet last Monday spread through Facebook. On Monday, the sale of salt at Tk 40 to 100 per kg was also reported in different shops in Sylhet. According to the Sylhet Deputy Commissioner, a mobile court went active in the field at around 9 pm. Assistant Commissioner (Land) Sumanta Banerjee and District Executive Magistrate Mohammad Mezbah Uddin led the operation. M/S Shimul store in Kalighat, a wholesale market in the city, was fined Tk 45 thousand for selling salt at high price and stocking. About 600 kg of salt loading in the three carriers was seized as the owner was not found.
The same image was also seen on Monday in Habiganj. Rumors salt price hiking was reported in the deep night, with the city and surrounding areas. According to the news, Executive Magistrate Yasir Arafat Rana arrested four businessmen from the Chowdhury Bazar area and imprisoned them.
Apart from this, the same sceneries were noticed in Moulvibazar and Sunamganj where salt was being sold at Tk 40 to 100 per kg. A mobile court raided Moulvibazar on Monday night after receiving such allegations of rising salt prices. Later, the administration of seven upazilas of Moulvibazar district posted the status on Facebook for not pay hit to rumors about salt price hike.
Meanwhile, rumors of a rise in salt prices have been spread in the capital since noon on Tuesday. Crowds of people go to the shops to buy salt in various markets and neighborhoods. There are allegations that many shopkeepers are selling salt at a higher price up to Tk 100 per kg.
Traders in the Kawran bazar said that most of the stores are selling salt at the price written on the packet. Traders say there is no salt crisis in the country. They said that with salt still available, the demand for at the next three months can be met. Traders urge people to buy salt at a fixed price on the packet.
Nurul Kabir, president of Bangladesh Salt Mill Owners Association, said salt prices are unlikely to rise. It's a scary rumor. Noting that there is no salt shortage in the country, he said there are at least three months of salt reserves.
Meanwhile, a notification from the Ministry of Industry said on Tuesday that the country currently has over 6 lakh tons of edible salt reserves. Of these, there are four lakh 5 thousand tons of salt farmers in Cox's Bazar and Chattogram, and two lakh 35 thousand tons of salt in the warehouse of various salt mills. The industry ministry has urged the public not to be misled by such rumors of a salt shortage.
The Ministry of Industry says there are sufficient salt reserves available for dealers, wholesalers, and retailers of various salt companies across the country. The salt production season has started in November this year. New salt produced in Kutubdia and Maheshkhali upazilas of Cox's Bazar district has also started coming to market.
The industry ministry also said that the demand for edible salt in the country is close to one lakh tons per month. There is a reserve of salt in the area of 600,000 tons. As such, there is no question of any deficiency or crisis of salt.
It is to be noted that a control room has already been opened at the headquarters of the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) under the direction of the Ministry of Industries to monitor salt matters. Its numbers are 02-9573505 (Land Phone), 01715-223949 (Cell Phone). The request was made on behalf of the ministry to contact the control room if any salt information is needed.