Kolkata/Malda: Onion exports that had been suspended a few days ago resumed on Saturday following a communication from the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to Kolkata Customs, urging the latter to release trucks stuck at multiple border points with Bangladesh.
In a communication to Customs on Friday, DGFT said consignments of onions that were lying at ‘Custom Ports’ after the Centre imposed a ban on its export needed to be released as they had already had the Letter of Credit. Some quantity of onions was already handed over to the Customs on September 14.
On Saturday, seven trucks of onions were sent through the Mahadipur Land Port Station in Malda. The consignments were originally due for export on September 14, but were held up.
Nearly 1,000 trucks headed to Bangladesh with around 25,000 tonnes of onions were left stranded along the Indo-Bangla border in Bengal after the Centre banned export of onions.
The DGFT notification prohibiting export of onions came into immediate effect from the evening of September 14. Traders feared damage to the perishable crops languishing in trucks. Meanwhile, the price of onions hit a new high across the border.
Uzzwal Saha, general secretary of West Bengal Exporters’ Coordination Committee which had written to DGFT to allow consignments for which Letter of Credit has already been opened by different banks of the importers’ countries, said: “It will be difficult for any consignment meant for export to resend to the domestic market due to export documentation formalities.”
Exporters like Ashok Mandal feared a huge loss if these crops were not allowed as a portion of onion already began to rot. “We can keep them for a maximum seven days after packing. After that, they would begin to get rot and lose their export quality,” said Mandal.