No trucks could carry the pre-contracted onions till Monday afternoon
The import of onions through Sonamasjid land port under Shibganj upazila in Chapainawabganj has come to a halt again after a few trucks carrying the spice entered Bangladesh from India on Saturday.
The Indian authorities allowed the trucks to enter Sonamasjid port via Mahadipur land port in Malda, five days after the neighbouring country imposed an export ban on September 14.
The export ban caused a sudden increase of onion prices in Bangladesh.
No trucks could carry the pre-contracted onions till Monday afternoon as importers did not get the release letter which worried them about the condition of the kitchen item.
Mainul Islam, manager of Panama Port Link Ltd, said although trucks carrying various Indian goods crossed the border via Mahadipur land port since morning, no onion-laden trucks entered the Sonamasjid port.
"We have got no permission letter from the Indian authorities regarding the matter. As a result, the import of onions for which the traders opened letters of credit (LC) earlier has become uncertain."
Mahadipur Customs Clearing and Forwarding (C&F) Agents Welfare Association General Secretary Bhupati Mandal said: "A meeting was held among the local administration, importers and exporters, customs, and C&F agents in Malda on Sunday. But it ended without reaching any decision. However, traders of both the countries are in discussions over the matter."
Chapainawabganj Chamber of Commerce and Industry member Shahidul Islam said the importers incurred a huge loss from the onions that came to Bangladesh on Saturday by eight trucks as 60% of the item had rotted.
Importer Abul Hasnat Durul said 200 to 250 onion-laden trucks have been stranded at Mahadipur port according to the Mahadipur Exporters' Association.
"We are very worried about the condition of the onions," he added.