The holy month of Ramadan is approaching, and with it comes a surge in demand for essential items like onions, edible oil, sugar, lentils, chickpeas, and dates.
To ensure smooth imports and stable prices, the Commerce Ministry has reached out to Bangladesh Bank and the National Board of Revenue (NBR) with key requests.
The Ministry urges Bangladesh Bank to prioritize the availability of US dollars in banks. This will facilitate easier import of the six commodities, easing pressure on businesses and ultimately impacting consumer prices. Lowering the margin requirement for opening letters of credit (LCs) is also proposed, as current margins of up to 100% can significantly affect import costs.
Recognizing the special importance of dates during Ramadan, the Ministry has appealed to the NBR for a reduction in import duty. With demand nearly doubling in the holy month, the current 58.6% duty puts a strain on both importers and consumers.
Streamlining customs clearance is another priority. The Ministry requests the NBR to fast-track the release of imported essentials from Chattogram port, ensuring timely arrival and availability in markets.