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Onion trucks start entering Hili, Sonamasjid ports

Published : Sunday, 20 September, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 172

Trucks carrying Indian onions have started entering Bangladesh through three land ports from early Saturday. The photo was taken from Hili Land Port in Dinajpur.	PHOTO: OBSERVER

Trucks carrying Indian onions have started entering Bangladesh through three land ports from early Saturday. The photo was taken from Hili Land Port in Dinajpur. PHOTO: OBSERVER

After several days of uncertainty onion trucks stranded on the Indian ports opposite Hili Land Port (HLP) in Hakimpur upazila of Dinajpur and Sonamasjid Land port in Chapainawabganj started entering Bangladesh through the ports on Saturday.
"The stranded onion-laden trucks inside India started entering Bangladesh through HLP at 3:15 pm today," President of Hili Land Port Import-Export Group and Hakimpur upazila parishad Chairman Harun Ar Rashid said.
"The progress was achieved following our frantic communications with our Indian counterparts," Harun said, adding that some 300 onion-laden trucks with 6,000 tonnes of the commodity have remained stranded inside India for the last five to seven days.
On the first day, some 15 to 20 trucks carrying 300 to 400 tonnes of onion may enter Bangladesh from India through HLP by 6:30 pm today while the other stranded trucks with onions   might enter in the next couple of days.
"We fear a huge loss as a portion of our imported onion might already have perished for remaining stranded in loaded trucks covered with thick layer of tarpaulin sheets amid hot and humid weather for several days," Harun said.
He said Bangladeshi importers opened letter of credits (LCs) by September 13 last to import about 10,000 tonnes of onions from India at rates between 250 to 300 US dollars per tonne through HLP in Dinajpur district alone.
"Some three hundred Indian trucks loaded with onions are reaming stranded inside India opposite to HLP. These onions might perish forcing the importers and local traders to count huge losses," he said.
Currently, hectic arrangements are being made to bring at least those onions for which LCs have been opened through different commercial banks to import at rates between 250 to 300 US dollars per tonne.
President of the Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents' Association (CC&FAA) at HLP Kamal Hossain Raj said onion price would remain steady in local markets following resumption of import of the commodity from neighbouring India.
"We have to learn lessons from the unexpected incident of stopping onion export by India to Bangladesh without prior notice," he said, suggesting meeting onion demand by increasing production and importing the same annually from substitute global markets.
Talking to BSS, General Secretary of the CC&FAA at HLP Abdur Rahman Litan also feared that huge quantities of stranded onions loaded aboard tarpaulin covered trucks might have already perished to cause huge losses to local importers.
Rajshahi Office Reports: Indian trucks laden with onions started entering Bangladesh through the Sonamasjid Land port in Chapainawabganj since this morning after a five-day gap.
The first one onion-carrying truck entered into the country from India's Mohadipur Land Port at 11 am and more other trucks are waiting to enter, Port Manager Mainul Islam said.
Towfiqur Rahman Babu, General Secretary of Sonamasjid Land Port Import-Export Group, said the Indian authority has given permission of exporting the onion against LCs opened before September 14.

After getting the permission, the Indian Customs authority has started issuing clearance certificates to the onion-laden trucks one after another since this morning.
Babu said around 300 to 400 stranded onion trucks started entering Bangladesh after a five-day gap, he added.

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