Bangladesh asks India to lift ban on rice export

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Dhaka, Nov 6: Bangladesh has requested New Delhi to lift the ban on export of rice, wheat and pulses.

Dhaka also requested India to remove non-tariff and para-tariff barriers to reduce the trade gap between the two countries.

The issues were raised on the first day of the two-day meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on Trade between Bangladesh and India, which began here yesterday at the Commerce Ministry.

Abdul Wahab Mian, Joint Secretary in the Commerce Ministry, led the Bangladesh side while the Indian side was led by Rajiv Kher, Joint Secretary in the Department of Commerce, Dailystar reported.

Commerce ministry sources said Bangladesh requested India to withdraw its export ban on essential commodities so that the price spiral of essentials could be controlled in Bangladesh.

Both the nations during the meeting discussed a wide range of issues including non-tariff and para-tariff barriers, customs, ports and border trade to help augment bilateral trade.

Dhaka requested India to remove non-tariff barriers of Bangladeshi products like betel nuts, Zamdani saris, dry-cell batteries and toiletries.

Dhaka also sought Indian recognition of the quality certificates issued by Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) to facilitate exports to the Indian market.

Bangladesh urged India to settle a number of issues that hinder export of Bangladeshi pharmaceutical products to the Indian market.

Bangladesh also pushed for improving infrastructure facilities of land customs stations and sought entry of its trucks carrying export goods inside Indian territory in the border areas.

At the moment, Indian trucks can enter 500 metres into Bangladeshi territory from the border.

Opening of new land customs stations in the bordering areas and increasing banking facilities were also discussed.

Sources in the commerce ministry said India is the second largest trade partner of Bangladesh next to China. Currently, Bangladesh imports Indian products worth about 2.0 billion dollars a year while exports less than 300 million dollars.

UNI

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