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Edible oil prices see no impact of VAT cut

Consumers are yet to get any benefit of the recent value-added tax (VAT) cut on edible oil as the prices still remain high at the retail market.

On Tuesday, the bottled soybean oil was selling at high price while the prices of loose soybean oil and loose super palm oil further increased.

In the wake of price hike of oil, the government recently reduced the VAT on edible oil by 15% at the production level, 5% at the consumer level and 10% at the import level to stabilise the market.

The government also rescheduled the prices of soybean and palm oils but the new prices have not yet been implemented across the country.

On March 20, the government fixed bottled soybean oil price at Tk 160 for one litre bottle, Tk 760 for five litres and the loose oil at Tk 136 per litre.

Later, the price of palm oil was reduced to Tk130 per litre.

The consumers claimed that the government initiative of VAT cut and fixing price has a little impact on the retail market at the consumer-end.

The price of loose soybean oil has increased by 3.28 percent in a week from last Tuesday and was sold at Tk 155-160 per litre, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data.

The price of loose palm oil has also increased by 2.81 percent in a week and was sold at Tk 145-148 per litre on Tuesday while the super palm oil increased by 1.71 percent and was sold at Tk 148-150 per litre on the day, according to the TCB.

While visiting a number of shops at Mohammadpur in Dhaka, it was seen that a five-liter bottle of soybean oil was sold at Tk 760-780 and one-litre bottle was sold at TK 170.

AKM Ali Ahad Khan, additional secretary of import and internal trade (IIT) wing of the Ministry of Commerce, said they will re-fix the edible oil price soon after Eid-ul-Fitr as per the international market price.

He said they were continuing their efforts to ease the prices of edible oil and taking actions against the price manipulators.

Md. Roman, a shop owner at Mohammadpur, said the supply of soybean oil dropped in the recent weeks and is now too low compared to the demand.

“I have received two cartons of five-litre soybean oil bottles of Teer brand and some two-litre bottles,” he said, adding that they had not got recently any one-litre soybean oil bottle.

The traders of Moulvibazar wholesale market in Dhaka said the supply of soybean and palm oils decreased since the last week.

They said the supply of bottled soybean oil is half the demand.