India’s Onion ban ‘undermines’ earlier discussions: foreign ministry

India’s sudden ban on onion exports has undermined earlier discussions regarding such restrictions on essential food items, Dhaka said in a letter to Delhi on Tuesday, as price of the kitchen staple skyrocketed immediately after Delhi’s ban announcement a day before.

“The latest abrupt announcement of the government of India on September 14, 2020 undermines the discussion that took place in 2019 and 2020 between the two friendly countries on the matter and the understanding shared,” said the letter.

Tuesday’s letter issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed deep concern at the sudden announcement of the amendment in India’s export policy of onion that directly impacts the supply chain of the essential food items in the Bangladesh market.

It referred to the India-Bangladesh commerce secretary level meeting in January this year where the Bangladesh side requested the Indian side to consider not imposing export restrictions on essential food items required by Bangladesh.

The letter also said in case of any event that necessitated such restriction, India was requested to inform it to Bangladesh side ahead of time.

“The matter was also raised by the Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina during the VVIP visit in October 2019, wherein the Bangladesh side requested the Indian side to inform in advance about such measures being taken,” said the foreign ministry letter.

The ministry in its letter also requested the Indian High Commission in Dhaka to convey the issue to the concerned authorities in India and take necessary measures to resume export of onions to Bangladesh, considering the excellent relationship and understanding between the two countries.


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