Bangladesh government has decided to increase the consignments of hilsa exports to India within nine days from 23 September.
However, this decision of the Sheikh Hasina government’s looks very laborious for both exporters and importers to transport the fish.
The commerce ministry of Bangladesh took a firm decision on 23 September, to export another 2500 metric tonnes (MT) to West Bengal amidst the festival of Durga Puja.
The government also lead the exporters of that country to complete the process by October 3.
The approval on it came within three days after the commerce ministry on September 20 to allowed export 2080 MT silver crop of Padma in the first phase.
It had got the clearance on the exporters to the consignment till October 10.
The second instructions of the ministry, limiting the period for only 11 days till October 3 has been shocking for both the exporters and importers in Bangladesh and India, respectively.
Considering the problems in importing Bangladeshi hilsa within such a short period, the importers in Bengal's capital has written to the Bangladesh government urging the latter’s interference on the difficulties.
Anwar Muqsood, the secretary of both the Fish Importers’ Association and Howrah Wholesale Fish Market has said today, “It’s very difficult to import the huge consignment of 4600 MT hilsa following the first and second phase approval of the Bangladesh government within this short period. "
Muqsood added that they have imported only 150 MT hilsa so far through Petrapol border since September 22.
Muqsood said that they are importing 50 MT daily on an average, and it will take around three months to import such an huge consignment.
Muqsood, “We are thankful to the Bangladesh government for allowing their exporters to export such massive quantities of hilsa as Puja gift for Bengal."
He also added, "But to reach the target of importing 4600 MT within nine days we have to import 500 mt everyday and this is very difficult.”
He wrote to the Bangladesh commerce ministry and urged the minister to give adequate time for smooth export and import process of hilsa.
Muqsood had also spoken to the Bangladesh High Commission officials in Delhi on the matter.
Muqsood said that it is the hige consignment of Bangladeshi hilsa that will be hit the markets in Kolkata and other towns of Bengal since 2012 when the government of Bangladesh had also banned the exporting the silver fish of the Padma to India.
The city markets, this year are virtually running out of even local hilsa in Bengal.
The local hilsa unavailability has made the prices of the fish highly expensive and it cost nearly rupees 2000 per kilogram in the city and other districts.