After the Centre’s decision to stop export of onion to control the rising prices back home, hundreds of lorries laden with the vegetable are now stranded at the land port with Bangladesh at Mahadipur under the English Bazaar police station in Malda. Tons of onions are now waiting to either be exported or rot.
While exporters are in a fix due to the sudden decision of the Centre, opposition leaders in Malda called it an “unplanned move.”
It may be noted here that the rate of onion has already reached Rs 50 per kg in markets in Malda, while the Indian Government has decided to stop exporting it in its bid to lower the prices.
“There are almost 200 lorries full of onions stranded at Mahadipur, and the entire load of onions there is about to rot,” sources said today.
According to Samir Ghosh, an exporter, they are in big trouble as the “letter of credit” for the onions has already come from Bangladesh, which cannot be returned now. “The decision is sure to balance the onion rates in the country, but such a decision should have come with a deadline. We should be given some more time to stop everything completely,” he said.
The matter has also sparked a political debate. “The onions will rot in no time and traders will face huge losses. The government should have given them some time to halt the exports, but they have now fallen victims to a no-plan decision of the BJP government,” TMC leader in Malda Debapriya Saha said.
According to Kalisadhan Roy of the Congress party, onions that have the “letter of credit” from Bangladesh should be immediately sent to the country. “Otherwise the onions will be damaged, resulting in huge losses for the traders,” he said.
BJP district vice-president Ajoy Ganguly, however, praised the Centre’s decision as timely, and said, “Our people should have priority over other countries. Bangladesh is a friend and once the rate comes down, onions can be exported again,” he said.