Some 1.4 million tonnes of salt was produced in the country this year against the annual demand of 1.6 million tonnes, according to industries and commerce ministries.
Salt industry is the largest labor oriented cottage industry in Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh salt is produced from sea water by solar and lixiviation process in the coastal areas of the districts of Chittagong, Cox’s bazaar, Noakhali, Barishal, Khulna and the adjoining off-shore islands.
But the units in Cox’s bazaar account for the manufacture of about 95 per cent of the total production of the country.
It contributes heavily to the development of the economy of Bangladesh in terms of output, employment generation and industrialization.
Besides using by every person as food items it is also very important raw material for some industries.
Salt is an essential ingredient for the preservation of rawhides.
Rawhide traders said it needs 8-10 kg salt for preserving each cow rawhide, while 10-12 kg for each buffalo rawhide and 1-2kg salt for goat and sheep.
So, it will cost Tk 150 to Tk 200 against salt for each cowhide. It needs to use salt in rawhides within six hours after the animal slaughtered.
Tanners are worried as prices of salt increased substantially recently. It will raise the cost of rawhide preservation of sacrificed animals during the Eid-ul Azha.
It is selling at Tk 18-19 per kg against the import price of only Tk 5.25, the tanners also claimed on Saturday.
Though the government has allowed the import of unrefined salt keeping in mind the tannery industry's demand, some unscrupulous businesspeople increased the prices of salt creating an artificial crisis in the market ahead of the Eid-ul Azha, they claimed.
The government has already approved 232 refinery mills to import o.5 million tonnes of salt more to meet the deficit.-SAA