Sugar prices have gone up by Tk 120 per mound in the Khatunganj-Chaktai market in overnight, the hub for wholesale of commodities in Chittagong, very soon after the proposed budget for 2019-20 was placed on last Thursday. Commodity dealer of Khatunganj-Chaktai said sugar was being sold at Tk 1,830 per mound on Saturday, which was Tk 1,710 on Thursday.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in his budget speech recommended increasing the specific duty and regulatory duty of both refined and raw sugar on bring in to country from abroad for sale. The specific duty for per tonne of raw sugar will be Tk 3,000, up from the existing Tk 2,000 while it will be increased by Tk 1,500 per tonne on import to Tk 6,000 for refined sugar if the proposals get go-ahead.
The conduct duty for both refined and raw sugar will be lifted to 30 percent from the existing level of 20 percent. The appeal of sugar increased suddenly overnight and few traders are now trying to take benefit of the increased demand, Nasir Uddin, general manager for marketing of Meghna Group, a major importer of sugar, told.
“Soon after being imported, it goes to the hands of the local traders. So, the importers have nothing to do with it.” Some wholesalers who have stockpiled sugar earlier have stopped selling the sweetener after the announcement of the tax hike, said Mir Mohammad Hasan, a wholesale trader of the Khatunganj-Chaktai market in the port city. “It was also a reason for the sudden rise in sugar price overnight.”