After the Indian government on March 13 imposed an embargo on Bangladeshi citizens travelling to India to prevent the coronavirus outbreak, many Bangladeshis could not go to India for business, travel, treatment and many other purposes.
The travel ban will continue until April 15.
However, imports and exports between the two neighbouring countries have felt no impact yet.
The country's largest land port Benapole is fully operative. Usually, goods carried by 120-150 trucks are exported while goods on 350 400 trucks are imported – it remains the same till date.
On Sunday, goods carried by 135 trucks were exported to India and goods on 380 trucks were imported.
Benapole C&F Association Secretary Mofizur Rahman Shajan said the trade through Benapole land port is regular and at least 5,000 trucks are waiting in Petropole to enter Bangladesh.
The other land ports are operating regularly too though the import process has slowed as the inbound truck divers from India have to go through coronavirus test. However, it has no major impact on the overall import.
Mizanur Rahman Khan, former secretary of Jessore Chamber of Commerce, said businessmen issue a letter of credit 15-30 days before an import. That is why, there has been no impact of coronavirus in the port. However, if the ban continues for some more days there will be an effect on the trade.
To prevent coronavirus outbreak, all the haats around the borders of the two countries have been closed, causing losses to businessmen in borders.
No impact on Hili land port
There is little impact of coronavirus on the trade at Dinajpur's Hili land port. The same number of goods laden Indian trucks are entering at present as it was 10 days ago. Every day 200-250 trucks of goods are imported through this port.
However, the businessmen who trade with other countries are in problem. Many of their goods are stuck in many water ports in the country. As their capital is locked they are facing losses.
Shahidur Rahman Patwary Mohon, an importer from Dinajpur, said, "International markets fell due to the coronavirus shock. Ships are coming late. A ship containing my goods reached the day before yesterday from South Africa, which was supposed to reach in February."
Truck drivers' health screening delays imports in Tamabil
Like other land ports, imports in Sylhet's Tamabil port are normal. Every day, around 200 trucks with goods – mainly coal and stone – are imported through the port. However, screening of the truck drivers has made a long queue of trucks, causing the number of inbound trucks lower to 150-170 trucks per day.
The imports and exports are regular in Chapai Nawabganj's Sona Mosque land port, Brahmanbaria's Akhaura Land Port and Satkhira's Bhomra Land Port.