A Supreme Court lawyer on Sunday served a legal notice on the government to halt export of hilsa, a sought-after fish, to India in next seven days.
Lawyer Md Mahmudul Hasan sent the notice to the relevant authorities saying that the export of the popular fish has led to an increase in its price in the local market. Unless it is stopped a writ a petition will be filed before the High Court to take an action in this regard, said the notice.
The notice has been sent to the commerce ministry, fisheries and livestock ministry, foreign ministry, civil aviation and tourism secretary, chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR), Office of Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, chairman of Bangladesh Tourism Corporation.
“Hilsa is Bangladesh’s national fish and yet poor people in the country cannot think of buying it while middle class also struggle due to its high price. At Bangladesh markets hilsa is being sold at Tk 1,000 to 1,200 per KG,” said the notice.
Hilsa from River Padma gets sold at Tk 1,200 to Tk 1,500 as a limited amount of fish can be harvested from there, it said.
“It is a matter of regret that the commerce ministry without considering national demand has permitted to export hilsa to India that too at a price lower than that in market here,” said the notice.
Hilsa is not a freely exportable product according to Bangladesh Export Policy 2021-24.
“The ministry of commerce has allowed the export of hilsa to India completely unjustly, ignoring the public interest”, said the SC lawyer in his notice.
Hilsa, a popular fish mostly among the Bengalis in both Bangladesh and India, is found in plenty mainly in Meghna and Padma rivers during the monsoon.
Bangladesh exports limited quantity of the fish to India especially before the celebration of Durga Puja, the biggest festival of Bengali Hindus who crave it most during this time. The festival will be celebrated first week of next month both in Bangladesh and neighbouring West Bengal.