Trade suspended through Benapole port
Trade between neighbours India and Bangladesh has been completely cut off from Monday through the Benapole port due to the movement of the Trinamool Congress, the ruling party in West Bengal state, in Bangaon of India. As a result, perishable goods stuck on both sides are expiring. After 41-day long shutdown due to the coronavirus, trade between the two countries started from noon on Thursday through the Benapole port following an agreement between the governments of India and Bangladesh.
In the last two days, 15 trucks of jute seeds, mesta seeds and maize seeds were imported from India. Besides, there are many daily necessary things in the line. Benapole Customs House works with a revenue target of Tk 25 crore per day. The government has so far incurred the loss of Tk 1,000 crore due to the suspension of import and export on account of the pandemic. Matiar Rahman, director of the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said former Bangaon North MLA Gopal Seth and Bangaon Municipal Council mayor Shankar Adhy Daku opposed exporting of goods by blocking trucks from the Kalitala parking lot.
At present, 1,963 trucks loaded with various goods are parked in the Kalitala parking lot. From these trucks, Bangaon Municipality collects parking charges at the rate of Tk 50 per day for small vehicles, Tk 80 for six-wheeler, Tk 120 for 10-wheelers and Tk 160 for trailers. Sajedur Rahman, general secretary of the Benapole C&F Agent Staff Association, said trade had not been stopped by the two governments, or customs. Former Trinamool Congress MLAs from Bangaon North Gopal Seth and Municipal Mayor Shankar Adhy Daku have taken the people to the streets and stopped the export of goods to Bangladesh saying that corona can spread through truck drivers.