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Current Position:Home » News » Law & Regulation » Topic

Dhaka demands prior notice over export bans from Indian government

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2020-01-10  Origin: FE  Views: 23
Core Tip: State officials have said that Bangladesh will request India to notify it at least six months before it introduces a trade ban on any commodity export.
State officials have said that Bangladesh will request India to notify it at least six months before it introduces a trade ban on any commodity export. They said the urging will be made at the Indo-Bangla commerce secretary-level meeting scheduled for mid-January in New Delhi.

A sudden export price hike and subsequent ban by India on onion resulted in price spiral of the key cooking ingredient in the Bangladesh market, breaking all previous records. A senior commerce ministry official told this Wednesday that Bangladesh is largely dependent on India for various essential commodities, including rice, sugar, pulse, onion, ginger, and garlic.

On September 13, neighbouring India raised minimum onion export price to US$850 per tonne, sending shock waves across Bangladesh's onion market. The market turned highly volatile, almost instantly. In a day or two, the price of locally-grown onion shot up to Tk 80 per kilogramme. Prices of both locally-produced and imported onions continued to rise in the wake of import price hike.

Then on September 29, the neighbouring India slapped a ban, sending onion price to sky-rocket. In Bangladesh, a kilogramme of onion sold nearly Tk 300 in late October, which continued until mid-November.

Later, onion price started cooling to some extent due to market intervention by the government and after the local variety hit the market. The price spike prompted the authorities and the private sector to import the spice through air shipment, but price dropped little.

Another senior commerce ministry official said the onion price spiral has baffled the government this time seriously. "But if India notified us months before the ban was imposed, we could have taken preparations to face the situation," he said.

During the commerce secretary-level meeting, India will be requested to make notification some months before it slaps ban on any commodity or raises minimum export price, he said. Bangladesh annually produces 1.8 million tonnes of onion and imports over a million tonnes to meet the local demand of the item. The bulk of imported onion comes from India.

[Tk 100 = 1.06 ]

 
 
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