The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, seeking her intervention for an early resumption of India-Bangladesh trade through land ports.
Despite the West Bengal government’s order on May 11 for the resumption of all border trade, this has not restarted, and thousands of trucks laden with essential and perishable items are still stranded at land ports, the organisation’s eastern regional chairman Sushil Patwari said in the letter.
The FIEO said this is hurting “the export-import community to a large extent, a sizeable chunk of which belongs to the MSME sector”. Exporters have been witnessing cancellation of orders due to non-delivery of goods, and importers are also seeking compensation for incurring losses at their end.
The letter said that if there is no improvement on the ground immediately, many exporters will have to shut their offices and become bankrupt. “The exporters are also made to pay higher interest rates to the banks for not being able to pay the loan installments and meet foreign exchange obligations,” Patwari said.
The India-Bangladesh trade through the Petrapole land port in North 24 Parganas district was stopped on May 2 after two days of operations following protests by local people. Villagers were afraid that truck drivers and labourers might spread coronavirus infection when they return from Benapole, located on the other side of the border.