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Soybean oil price hike, minister unaware

Published : 16 Apr 2024 10:58 PM | Updated : 17 Apr 2024 12:21 PM

Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners & Vanaspati Manufacturers Association, the edible oil traders’ body that determines oil price, has hiked soybean oil price despite price reduction in the global market.

State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu, however, claims that he does not know anything about soybean price hike

On Tuesday, the association once again set a new price. As per the latest notification, a suggested increase of Tk 10 per liter has been proposed. As a result, 5 liters of bottled soybean oil will be sold at Tk 845 while loose palm oil price will be at Tk 132 per litre.

Earlier, in September of the previous year, the association set the price of bottled soybean oil at Tk 169 per liter. However, in January, the traders unexpectedly raised the price by Tk 4 per liter without any prior announcement. 

The State Minister for Commerce has claimed that he did not know anything about soybean price hike. 

He said, “I have not yet received any such letter mentioning that the traders have increased prices.”

He said there is no chance of hiking the price of edible oil. The VAT withdrawal facility has ended. Prices will now be calculated through the Tariff Commission, and the National Board of Revenue will be informed about this.  

According to the oil mill owners, the National Board of Revenue  (NBR) reduced the VAT on soybean oil by 5 percent to keep the prices of commodities under control during Ramadan. VAT exemption expired last Monday.

The letter sent to the ministry has said that the SRO issued in February for facilitating the import and production of edible oil expired on April 15. As a result, edible oil (refined palm oil and refined soybean oil) will be supplied in the market from April 16 at pre-VAT prices.

Meanwhile, Tariff Commission officials said that a letter has been sent to NBR to continue VAT exemption on edible oil. 

On condition not to be named, an official of Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission informed that to continue the VAT exemption support for edible oil they have written to NBR. However, the official did not provide clarity on the duration for which the exemption will be extended.

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