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Bangladesh commerce minister appeals India to lift onion export ban.


Date: 23-10-2019
Subject: Bangladesh commerce minister appeals India to lift onion export ban
GUWAHATI: Bangladesh commerce minister Tipu Munshi on Tuesday appealed to India to lift the ban on onion export as people in his country is suffering because of escalating prices of the vegetable and are “virtually cooking food without it”. 

“The ban on exporting onion to Bangladesh by India was sudden and without any prior intimation. As a commerce minister, I have to face relentless queries of people almost every day. If we had any prior information about the move, we would have made alternative arrangements,” Munshi said at the inaugural session of the two-day India-Bangladesh Stakeholders’ Meet here on Tuesday. 

He added that Bangladesh has an onion deficit of about six lakh tons and 80% of his country’s onion demand is met from Indian export. 

“Prior to the ban, there was a sudden increase in the export price of onion. After a few days, there was a ban on its export. I think the ban was imposed about one-and-half months back. Prior notice would have helped us to do something to tide over the crisis,” Munshi said. 

The Bangladesh minister added that his country has started sourcing the vegetable from Egypt, Turkey and Myanmar. “It’s not the matter of cost that affects us in getting onion from other sources. The fact is that we are heavily dependent on India’s supply and suddenly when it stops, the hardship and the gap remain,” said Munshi. 

He added that his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal had earlier told him that after the Maharashtra election, he would take up the matter of resuming onion supply. “Now that the election is over, we are hopeful India will lift the ban soon,” said Munshi. 

India had to stop onion export to Bangladesh after the extended monsoon affected the harvest. Export had to be banned to make onion available in the domestic market and check the spiraling prices. 

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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