The deputy high commission of Bangladesh in Calcutta has appealed to its government for an extension of the duration fixed for exporting hilsa to Bengal by 22 days.
On September 20, Bangladesh’s ministry of commerce had issued an order permitting 79 fish exporters from Dhaka, Khulna, Pabna, Jessore and Chittagong to export 50 tonnes of hilsa each to Bengal.
The first consignment arrived the next day.
The order, issued by Mohammad Jakir Hossain, deputy secretary of the export wing of the ministry, said the export of the 4,000-odd tonnes of hilsa, which comes as a
puja gift for Bengal, would have to be wrapped up by October 30.
In a letter to the ministry of commerce and the ministry of fisheries and livestock in Bangladesh, Shamsul Arif, first secretary (commercial) in the deputy high commission, has written that the annual ban on catching of and trading in hilsa in Bangladesh will be in effect for a period of 22 days from October 12.
The letter in Bengali, sent on Tuesday, states that in keeping with an earlier
appeal by the fish importers’ association in Calcutta, the duration for exporting
hilsa from Bangladesh to Bengal may be extended by 22 days.
“It is hereby requested to take necessary steps to extend the export of Hilsa fish to Bengal on the occasion of Durga Puja by 22 days,” the letter signed by Arif said.
Earlier this month, the association of fish importers in Calcutta had appealed to the deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh in Calcutta to allow at least 60 days for
import of the hilsa that the country offers to Bengal every Puja.
In a letter to Andalib Elias, the deputy high commissioner, the association had said that last September, Bangladesh had gifted 2,900 tonnes of hilsa to Bengal ahead of Durga Puja, but only 1,300 tonnes had arrived before the deadline lapsed.
“We would request you to please give (a) sufficient time frame of at least 60 days instead of the usual 20/30 days’ time since such a huge quantity cannot be exported in this small time frame,” the letter read.
A copy of the association’s letter was sent to Arif. His letter to the two ministries
on Tuesday mentioned this appeal.
“It would be extremely difficult to receive even half of the amount sanctioned for export within the October 30 deadline,” Syed Anwar Maqsood, secretary
of the West Bengal Fish Importer’s Association, told Metro.