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Daylong protest pause on West Bangla border export.

Date: 02-07-2020
Subject: Daylong protest pause on West Bangla border export
KOLKATA: Export to Bangladesh was temporarily stalled on Wednesday, as Bangladeshi traders prevented the entry of trucks at Benapole border over India’s decision to not allow import amid the pandemic. They sought trade reciprocation by the Indian government as per international protocol. 

Later in the evening, 80 trucks were allowed to cross into Bangladesh. 

Between 6am and 9am, 26 trucks had been allowed to go to the Benapole side from Petrapole end before the protest began. Hence, against the usual daily average of 200-plus export trucks, only 106 made it on Wednesday. 

“After much persuasion by Indian exporters and C&F agents, 80 trucks were allowed to enter Benapole between 5.30pm and 8pm,” said Suvajit Mandal, manager, Petrapole Land Port Authority. “There were 11 trucks ferrying tomato and four ginger. Nine trucks had motorcycle parts,” he added. 

Exporter Pravin Saraf said talks with Bangladeshi traders were on. 

“They were agitating because India is exporting goods to Bangladesh without allowing import,” said Sushil Patwari, regional chairman of Federation of Indian Exporter Organisations (FIEO). Indian goods were allowed to be exported via Petrapole from June 7 and around 4,000 trucks have entered Bangladesh since then. “But, Delhi has not hinted import of goods, which irked Bangladeshi traders. Many India-bound trucks are stationed at Benapole,” Patwari said, adding that he had urged the Bengal chief minister to intervene. 

A Bangladesh deputy high commission official said the agitation might have been orchestrated by some local traders and the government there had nothing to do with it. 

CM Mamata Banerjee had announced on Tuesday that export of Indian goods to Bangladesh would resume through the Changrabandha land border from Wednesday. However, in order to make drivers aware of the , it has been decided to begin export from Thursday. 

An official said Covid cases were much high on the Bangladesh side. Thus, drivers and helpers had been asked to use protective gear and use hand sanitisers frequently. They must also avoid physical contact with Bangladeshi nationals. 

Through the Ghojadanga border, Indian export had resumed on June 20 while from June 29, Bangaldeshi goods were allowed in.

Source:- timesofindia.iniatimes.com

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