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Bangladesh expresses concern over ban on onion exports from India

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Bangladesh has officially conveyed its deep concern over the ban on onion exports from India without proper notice.

The Indian government on Monday banned the export of all varieties of onions with immediate effect to boost availability and curb commodity prices in the domestic market.

The latest surprise announcement of the Government of India on September 14, 2020 undermines the discussions that took place in 2019 and 2020 between the two friendly countries on this issue and the common understanding, read the letter of the Foreign Ministry sent to India through the High Commission in Dhaka

The letter, dated September 15, was made available to Bangladeshi media in the late hours of Wednesday.

He urges the Indian High Commission to convey the message to the authorities in New Delhi and take the necessary measures to resume onion exports given the excellent ties between the neighbors.

In the letter, Bangladesh expressed “its deep concern” as the sudden announcement from India directly affects the supply of essential food items to the Bangladesh market.

He noted that a secretary-level meeting between the two countries’ trade ministries held on January 15-16, 2020 in Dhaka urged India not to impose export restrictions on essential food items required by Bangladesh.

The letter said the Bangladeshi side also asked India to inform Dhaka ahead of time in case of any event that would require such a restriction.

The issue was also raised by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to India in October 2019.

Earlier in the day, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said Dhaka had demanded that New Delhi lift the ban on onion exports in accordance with an unwritten understanding.

Even if, he said, India was asked to make such a decision, New Delhi would inform Dhaka in advance.

“We are expecting a positive result soon in this regard,” he said as he spoke to reporters in his office.

New Delhi in September last year had imposed a similar ban on onion exports, which, however, was later lifted.

AHM Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal has said the government was considering withdrawing the import duty on the essential item.

(Only the title and photo of this report may have been revised by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated by a published syndicate source.)



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