Kolkata, June 13 : This monsoon the Bengalis might even be deprived of Hilsa, which they consider as the king of all fish. A new rule by the Bangladesh government has fixed the export price of Hilsa fish that is almost double than the rates at which the Hilsa was imported till now from the neighbouring country.
The traders association in the city is, however, not very happy over the Bangladesh government's decision.
"When the government (Bangladeshi Government) has fixed the rate to a minimum of six dollars automatically what is happening is when we are buying for six dollars minimum they have fixed a slab for example 600-900 grams for six dollars minimum and then 900 grams to 1.2 kilograms for eight dollars minimum. So what is happening is until last time we used to negotiate with our buyers in Bangladesh and we used to fix the prices. It used to vary between three-four dollars. It used to depend on demand and supply of fish in the respective countries," said Sayed Anwar Maqsood, Secretary, Fish Importers Association.
Hilsa prices in the Kolkata, as a result, are poised to shoot up substantially from the present 100-120 rupees a kilogram to 350-400 rupees, putting the fish out of reach of middle class Bengalis.
The silvery Hilsa swarm into Bangladeshi rivers from the Bay of Bengal between June and September, and are hugely popular.
Fish loving Bengalis who swear by Hilsa from Bangladesh are finding it hard to adjust to rising prices. In order to cope with the rising prices they have decreased its intake.
"Hilsa is a favourite fish of Bengalis so due to high rates it affects us very much. We are making our budget and we are purchasing minimum quantity as per our requirement," said Avirup Mukherjee, a local customer.
Bangladesh exports Hilsa fish worth about five billion taka annually, mostly to India.