Bangladesh’s nod awaited for 24×7 exim trade through Petropole land border

Kolkata, Nov 28: The 24×7 export and import trade between India and Bangladesh to eliminate delay in consignments through Petrapole land border is awaiting the neighbouring country’s notification to keep their border gate open round the clock, an official said.
The detention period for trucks at the border has crossed more than 40 days and has reached 55 days, trade bodies said. FICCI has also flagged the long detention issue with Union Commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam.
The Government of India had issued an order on October 25 that the Petrapole-Benapole border to be operational 24×7 on a trial basis for three months.
“We had held a meeting with the stakeholders and the Bangladeshi government. We are completely ready in our end to begin 24×7 operation from our side and awaiting notification from the Benapole border from the Bangladeshi side,” Petrapole land port manager Kamlesh Saini told PTI.
Indian exporters at the India-Bangladesh border have expressed discontent over the long waiting period of trucks carrying consignments to Bangladesh, at Petrapole and Ghojadanga land borders, apprehending disruption of shipments.
With sudden increase in imports of soya from Bangladesh, the congestion on the Indian side has increased leading to slow exports. FICCI said the space available for warehousing at the border on the India side meant for carrying out export to Bangladesh has reduced significantly and hence has reduced the number of export units per day from 500 units to currently 300 units (goods truck + auto chassis) per day.
It further said the queue time at Kalitala parking has increased from 15 days to 40 days resulting in an increase in the per day per truck amount payable to Kalitala Municipality. The delay has pushed the detention cost of each truck or chassis from Rs 5,100 to Rs 13,200 resulting in inventory carrying costs and loss of exports to Bangladesh.
Exporters in the past also flagged that Kalitala parking is one of the perennial problems for slow exports including slow customs clearances.
Petrapole in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal is the largest land trade border with Bangladesh with a total trade of over Rs 20,000 crore. (PTI)