India halts entry of Bangladeshi goods
Al Amin :
Bangladesh-India trade through land ports resumed after a standstill of more than two and a half months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Traders alleged that Bangladeshi goods are nearly prohibited to export to India, although the country's goods are imported to Bangladesh through the different land ports. As a result, the trade deficit between the two countries is increasing and the Bangladesh government is losing foreign earnings.
Dr Md Jafor Uddin, Secretary of Commerce Ministry, said, "We are working to resolve the complication. Hopefully, it will be removed very soon."
Traders said despite the approval of the central government of India, the India-Bangladesh trade was closed for 76 days for not getting permission from the West Bengal government. The export-import through the land ports remained halted even after getting approval from West Bengal for various reasons.
They said the solution is not possible without pressurizing the provincial government by the Indian central government.
The export-import resume through the Bangladeshi company HMCL Niloy imported 24 trucks of motorcycles parts exported by Indian Hero Honda Company recently, Additional Commissioner of Benapole Customs Dr Niyamul Islam said.
The import and export of other products will also resume from then, he added.
Bangladeshi exporters said export activities including orders from Indian businesses have been halted for three months and the exporters are losing crores of taka due to damage of their produced goods.
Tapan Kumar Chacrabarti, Chairman of the Bangladesh Land Port Authority, said, "The Indian authorities are not allowing us to export goods. We are telling them several times through various means to keep exports normal but they are not allowing us in the name of lockdown."
He, however, said, "Few goods are exporting to India through other land ports but we are telling them to keep active the export activities fully. Exporting goods will be permitted, if the Indian customs allows us."
"Our businesses are producing goods. If they fail to send the goods timely, they will have to face a massive loss," he added.
In normal time, over 400 trucks with exporting goods enter India through different land ports. But now on an average 10-15 trucks are going to the country.
Sheikh Fazle Fahim, President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), said, "We have already informed about the issue and discussion between the two governments is going on."
The land ports are Benapole, Hilli, Akhaura, Bhomra, Sonamosjid, Banglabandh, Haluaghat, Bibirbazar, Tekhnaf, Burimari and Tamabil. The volume export and import is amounting around to Tk 7 cr through these ports.
As our economy is in a transition stage, it is imperative that our bilateral ties reflect the potential opportunities we have in areas such as joint high tech research, development and innovation incubators, JVs on light, medium and heavy industries, knowledge transfer to transition from 3rd IR to 4th IR including service sector cooperation in ICT, nanotechnology, robotics, IOT, cyber security, AI, quantum computing, quantum internet among others.