Amid the skyrocketing onion prices in the local market, consignments of Indian variety of the essential kitchen item have finally started entering Bangladesh through different land ports on Saturday.
A good number of trucks carrying onions from the neighbouring country entered Bangladesh through Bhomra land port at Satkhira and Sonamasjid land port of Chapainawabganj.
The development ushered in a ray of hope that the overheated onion market will cool down with the Indian bulb.
The Indian government imposed a ban on onion export on September 14 in an effort to meet domestic demand.
As Bangladesh is largely dependent on imported onions, the ban put an adverse impact on Bangladeshi onion market and resulted in a sharp hike of onion price.
Later, India declared to allow the export of some quantity of onions which had been handed over to customs on the date of imposing ban on onion export.
The Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry made it clear that the ban will not be applicable for those pre-contracted shipments and necessary directives have been given to allow such eligible consignments.
But there will be no more new contract henceforth until the notification is revised, a senior official told UNB.
Thanks to the initiative, trucks loaded with Indian onions started entering Bangladesh through Bhomra port of Satkhira at noon.
Mostafizur Rahman Nasim, general secretary of C&F Agents Association of Bhomra, said, “Thirty-two trucks have entered the country from India on Saturday. Each of the trucks was carrying around 25 tonnes of onions.”
Also read: India bans export of onions again
Some 255 trucks were waiting on Indian side to enter Bangladesh, he said, adding that the rest will cross the border gradually.
India announced the export of 25,000 mt tonnes of onions through Bhomra, Hili and Sonamasjid land ports. Of them, 8,000 mt tonnes are likely to enter Bangladesh using Bhomra port, Nasim mentioned.
Meanwhile, local traders disclosed that a large quantity of onions got rotten as the trucks loaded with the cooking ingredients had been stuck in Indian side for the last five days.
Mohshin Hossain, a customs official of Bhomra, said how much onions will come depends on India’s decision.
In Chapainawabganj, consignments of Indian onions started entering the country through Sonamasjid land port in the morning.
Taufiqur Rahman Babu, general secretary of the Sonamasjid Land Port Import-Export Group, said India has allowed the export of onions, which were tendered before India's export ban.
Following the development, the consignment of onions started arriving at the port around 11 am on Saturday.
He hoped that all the trucks stuck on Indian side would enter Bangladesh gradually.
Over 150 onion laden trucks got stuck on the Indian side of Sonamasjit port when Indian government imposed the ban.