Dhaka, Sept 4: Bangladesh is planning to export 5000 tons of Hilsa fish to India on the occasion of Durga Puja.
Not only that, the government will keep a strict watch on the institutions which will be allowed to export, whether they are working accordingly or not.
According to the sources of the Ministry of Commerce, in September last year, 115 companies were given permission to export a total of 4,600 tons of hilsa to India, but many did not do so.
However, in the previous year in 2020, first one thousand 450 tons and then another 400 tons of hilsa were exported by government permission. More than a hundred companies have already applied to the Ministry of Commerce to get permission to export hilsa this year.
Out of which, initially 50 companies have been selected to issue hilsa export permits to India. Durga Puja will start from October 1. Hilsa is usually exported to India on the occasion of Durga Puja. Although the export was stopped from 2012 to 2018, the export of hilsa to the country started again from 2019.
When asked, Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said last Thursday, “India exported 1,400 tons of hilsa last time.” At that time, the ban on catching hilsa was one of the obstacles in terms of export. However, this year we expect the export to be more. It is also being considered to extend the period of export. Last time, the first consignment of hilsa from Bangladesh went to Kolkata through the Benapole-Petrapole border by land.
In India, hilsa weighing 700 grams to 1,200 grams is usually exported. Apart from Bangladesh, Hilsa is found in neighboring India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
But Bangladeshi hilsa is the most popular in terms of taste. It is said the Ministry of Commerce is unhappy because the exports were not good last time.
Last time, the Ministry of Commerce had written to 73 companies for not exporting Hilsa to India even with permission. According to sources, those who exported, their quantity ranged from 3 to 40 tonnes.
The Ministry of Commerce allows a company to export up to a maximum of 40 tonnes of hilsa. The time given for this is 15 days. According to the sources, the Ministry of Commerce will inform the Office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports about the permission to export hilsa within two weeks.
Allegations of opacity in permission every year in the month of October 22 days, hilsa extraction, transportation, storage, marketing, buying and exchange are prohibited throughout the country. The ban was imposed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock from October 4 to 25 last year. This ban will start on October 7.
Exporters say the puja and ban fall fairly close together. So they cannot export hilsa within the stipulated time. Exports are allowed despite lack of time and capacity for export. Both of these are one of the reasons for not exporting hilsa to India. Considering the difficulties faced by the exporters, the Ministry of Commerce extended the deadline for the export of Hilsa till November last time.
According to Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA), five and a half to six lakh tons of hilsa are produced in the country annually. Four to five thousand tons of hilsa are exported from it. Due to this, prices and supply do not have much impact on the market. It also earns foreign exchange equal to 200 crore taka. (UNI)