India lifts ban on onion export to BD

Indian government lifted onion export ban to Bangladesh, as the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the sudden step was causing “difficulties” to her people. On Saturday while attending an India-Bangladesh Business Forum in Delhi, held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, the Prime Minister joked about the difficulty in procuring supply of onions, both for herself and for her country, after India, banned exports last month.

The Prime Minister was pitching that Bangladesh as a fast-growing economy and attractive business destination when she broke off to ask the centre why she had not been given notice of the ban. "It has become difficult for us to get onions. I don't know why you stopped the supply. I've told my cook to make food without onions!" she said as the audience laughed.

Confirming this the commerce ministry secretary Dr Jafar Uddin said, as the export ban is lifted, Indian onion has started to arrive in the country. Almost 400 onion-laden trucks are about to arrive in the country's land port. It is to be noted, for sudden onion price spree in the Indian market, without any announcement, the Indian authority cancelled onion export to Bangladesh.

Further talking to enhancing trade and investments between the two countries, the Prime Minister said huge potential exists in Bangladesh for Indian business community in different sectors. She said that Bangladesh has the most liberal investment policy in South Asia, and it includes protection of foreign investment by law; generous tax holiday; concessionary duty on import of machinery; unrestricted exit policy; full repatriation of dividend and capital on exit, to name a few.

"We are in the process of establishing 100 Special Economic Zones. About a dozen of them are ready with four allotments to three countries. Bangladesh has offered three zones for Indian investors at Mongla, Bheramara and Mirsarai. Substantial investment from Indian investors in these three Indian Economic Zones in Bangladesh would help broaden our exportable base” said the Prime Minister.