Indian traders have announced an indefinite suspension on exports of Indian goods through the Hili land port in Dinajpur from next Wednesday.
They informed the matter in a letter to the Hili Land Port Importer-Exporter Group of Bangladesh on Sunday afternoon.
Indian traders announced the decision after Bangladeshi traders demanded that all truck drivers entering Bangladesh from India have to be vaccinated by 8 June.
Previously, Bangladeshi traders demanded that the Indian truck drivers entering Bangladesh with the goods should be vaccinated.
At the same time, in order to prevent the transmission of the virus, no more than 50 trucks will be allowed to enter the country every day so that the truck drivers can return to India on the same day after unloading the goods.
The announcement has been effective since Sunday.
And on Sunday afternoon, a letter signed by Dhiraj Adhikari, General Secretary of Hili Exporters and Customs Clearing Agents Association, a business organisation of India, came to Hili Land Port Importer-Exporter Group of Bangladesh.
The letter said, "It is not possible to vaccinate all our Indian truck drivers who go to Bangladesh with export products by 8 June, as per the demands of Bangladeshi traders. This is because there is a lack of coronavirus vaccine across the country. As before, import-export activities between the two countries should be continued till 6 pm through the port. We cannot accept your decision. We feel humiliated. Like other land ports, Hili land port also has to let trucks enter normally. These decisions were taken at a meeting of the executive committee of the association today (Sunday)."
When contacted about the letter, Harun-ur-Rashid, president of Hili Land Port Import-Export Group, said, "We have nothing to do if Indian traders stop exporting goods. Their main demand is that the activities should continue in the same way as before with 150 to 200 trucks entering Bangladesh every day. With this many trucks entering Bangladesh, they cannot go back to India after unloading the goods in one day. So they stay inside the Hili land port or in a residential hotel which creates a risk of coronavirus infection."
"Therefore, the local administration, port authorities and the health department had decided to reduce the import-export activities of the port to 80 trucks to prevent the transmission of coronavirus. As the rate of infection has recently increased, it has been further reduced to 50 trucks. The directive came into effect on Sunday," he added.