New Delhi: Bangladesh has asked India to immediately resume onion exports even as it has now decided to procure the commodity from other markets like Turkey and Egypt.
Addressing a press conference in Dhaka Wednesday, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs M. Shahriar Alam said India and Bangladesh have an “unwritten understanding” that New Delhi will inform Dhaka prior to imposing any kind of ban on the export of the commodity, which is a key cooking ingredient in the local markets.
“We are expecting a positive result soon in this regard, Dhaka has requested New Delhi to revoke its ban on onion export as India earlier had made an unofficial pledge to Bangladesh of a continuing supply of onion here,” he said.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Mohammad Imran also urged India’s Ministry of External Affairs to look into the matter as he sent out a diplomatic note.
Dhaka is upset as the “friendly” neighbours have an understanding that New Delhi will inform beforehand about such a move in order for Bangladesh to take necessary action, sources in the Bangladesh government said. This understanding was reached after India took a similar action last year, said the sources.
According to the sources, prices of the commodity shot through the roof after India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced the move Monday banning all varieties of onion that were earlier allowed to be exported freely.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh also said the Sheikh Hasina government has decided to import onions from multiple sources to ensure enough supply.
“In line with the decision, the Government has already taken steps to import onions from Turkey and Egypt. The consignment of the onions is expected to reach Chittagong port early next month,” it said.
Bangladesh is the biggest buyer of onions from India. It is also upset that New Delhi took this decision at the same time when Dhaka decided to export the popular hilsa fish to India due to the upcoming festive season. Dhaka has decided to ship 1,457 tonnes of the fish to India until October.
The onion issue had rattled the friendly neighbouring country even last year when India took a similar step. It had even induced Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to taunt India by taking a dig at Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
However, in January this year, both sides decided to settle the issue by coming to an agreement that New Delhi will keep Dhaka informed of any such move in the future.
India is one of the top global exporters of onion. The decision to ban the exports was taken with the aim of increasing the availability of the key commodity and checking its prices.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And have just turned three.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous and questioning journalism. Please click on the link below. Your support will define ThePrint’s future.