Bangladesh protests India’s ban on onion exports

Such unannounced moves go against bilateral commercial understandings, says Dhaka

September 17, 2020 03:52 am | Updated 03:52 am IST - NEW DELHI

Unannounced ban on export of onions goes against bilateral commercial understandings, Bangladesh conveyed to India in a diplomatic note sent on Wednesday. Diplomatic sources have said the note was handed over to the High Commission in Dhaka.

“The letter sent to India has said the sudden change in the Indian policy has caused grave anxiety to Bangladesh because the issue has impacted supply of daily items in the national market,” leading Dhaka daily Prothom Alo has said citing government sources.

The Foreign Ministry issued the note after India banned export of onions on September 14. Onion prices have surged past Taka 200. Dhaka has urged Delhi to resume supply at the earliest so that the domestic crisis could be addressed.

The Commerce Secretaries met during January 15-16 when Bangladesh had urged India not to stop agricultural exports without prior announcement. A similar crisis had erupted last autumn when India had stopped export of onions to Bangladesh. The subsequent surge in prices in Dhaka’s markets had prompted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take up the issue with the Indian side during her October visit to Delhi. The onion crisis of 2019 had left a strong impact on ties as it prompted it to import onions from Pakistan after a gap of almost 15 years.

According to available information, many trucks carrying onions are stranded near the Bangla border because of the Indian decision to stop the export.

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