Bangladesh-India trade falls 79pc in Apr-May on West Bengal hurdle

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Bilateral commerce between Bangladesh and India fell by round 79 per cent to solely $424 million in April-Could this yr from almost $2 billion in the identical interval of 2019.

Commerce between the 2 neighbouring nations has been considerably affected through the interval because of the coverage taken by the West Bengal authorities, in accordance a report of the Instances of India.

Commerce quantity between the nations additionally dropped to $2.9 billion in January-Could of 2020 from that of $4.1 billion within the corresponding interval of 2019.

West Bengal is proving to be a serious impediment to India’s neighbourhood coverage, the report mentioned.

‘A choice by the Mamata Banerjee authorities to cease all items from Bangladesh via the Petrapole-Benapole border since March has resulted in critical harm to bilateral commerce and it got here to a head on Wednesday with Bangladesh refusing to permit Indian vehicles to cross the border,’ it mentioned.

Bangladeshi exporters and clearing and forwarding brokers additionally stopped importing items from India via the route since Wednesday in response to India’s resolution to not take any merchandise from Bangladesh within the final three months.

Though import from India resumed on June 7 and greater than 4,200 vehicles carrying Indian items had entered Bangladesh till June 30, India didn’t enable entry to Bangladeshi goods-carrying vehicles through the interval, in accordance with exporters, C&F brokers and customs officers on the Benapole Customs Home.

Bangladeshi merchants, authorities officers, together with international minister AK Abdul Momen, have their expressed dissatisfaction over the matter and urged the Indian authorities to resolve the standstill in bilateral commerce.

The Bangladesh Land Port Authority additionally repeatedly requested the Indian facet to permit Bangladeshi goods-laden vehicles into India however there was no progress to this point.

Exporters are dealing with losses on account of India’s reluctance to obtain Bangladeshi items whereas commerce imbalance, which is now extremely in favour of India, is rising because of the disaster.

The commerce quantity was $8.9 billion within the fiscal yr 2018-2019. Of this, Bangladesh exported items value solely $1.25 billion.

In keeping with ToI, Bangladeshi merchants and the federal government have been expressing unhappiness for someday, which spilled over on July 1 resulting in Bangladesh stopping Indian vehicles from coming into the nation.

Even so, sources mentioned, 106 vehicles had been let via into Bangladesh.

No exports from Bangladesh have been allowed to come back through PetrapoleBenapole since March 23, the day earlier than the lockdown was imposed.

It briefly resumed on April 29, however shut down once more on Could 2, following some native protests at Petrapole.

Commerce commenced once more on June 7 and the quantity slowly rose to round 250 vehicles per day from round 24 a day.

‘Nevertheless it was all one-way commerce with solely vehicles from India going to Bangladesh however nothing being allowed to come back from the opposite facet,’ the report mentioned.

There was, nonetheless, no stoppage of products from Bangladesh through Tripura, however solely via Petrapole-Benapole which accounts for about 70 per cent of the commerce between Bangladesh and India.

Confronted with a critical disruption in commerce which might have a adverse impression on different points of bilateral ties, the Indian central authorities is on the lookout for different choices to bypass the Petrapole-Benapole ICP.

For the primary time, items have additionally been transferring via the revived India-Bangladesh rail community.

On Friday, the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata introduced that it will serve Indo-Bangla commerce by introducing a brand new service between the

Kolkata Dock System and Chattogram (Chittagong) via the IndoBangladesh Protocol Route, the report mentioned.

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