Indian govt nudges West Bengal to smoothen goods export to Bangladesh

Central Government of India has urged the West Bengal government to facilitate smooth movement of goods to Bangladesh during Covid-19-induced lockdown period.

The nudge from New Delhi came after the movement of cargo to Bangladesh through West Bengal territory slowed down as the state government expressed apprehension that movement of trucks carrying goods might spread coronavirus infection in the state, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

Dhaka is important not only to New Delhi’s “South Asia first” policy but also for facilitating movement of goods to north eastern India using Bangladesh as transit.

While the Indian home ministry has permitted movement of goods for cross-border trade during the ongoing lockdown period with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, West Bengal authorities are curbing the movement of goods, reports our correspondent quoting Indian officials.

The restrictions on trucks’ movement could hit Bangladesh’s imports of basmati rice from Punjab and Haryana states and “Gobindobhog” variety rice from West Bengal.

“This is the time when Bangladesh imports basmati from India for making biryani during Ramadan,” reports The Economic Times quoting Suraj Agarwal, CEO of Tirupati Agri Trade.

“Since trucks are not moving between the two countries, exports have completely come to a standstill,” he told the daily.

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