Importers are incurring losses as most of the 925 metric tonnes of onion that came from India through Satkhira’s Bhomra land port in the last three days are rotten.
On Monday, 96MT onion in four trucks entered Bhomra through Ghojadanga land port of India. Earlier, 721MT of Indian onion arrived in 31 trucks on Saturday and 108MT in five trucks came on Sunday.
Mostafizur Rahman Nasim, general secretary of Bhomra Land Port C&F Agents Association, said 40 onion-laden trucks were stranded at the port. They had clearance but could not cross the border after India’s export ban on Sept 14.
They entered only after India’s clearance but a number of days had already gone by.
Most of the onion rotted as the trucks were stuck at Ghojadanga for about a week. “So, traders had to count huge losses,” he said.
Besides, more than 200 onion-laden trucks are still stuck in India without any clearance. Some of the trucks are going back and some are being sold locally by the traders.
Bhomra land port Revenue Officer Mohsin Hossain said that 925MT onion entered the country through the port in the last three days.
“Today some more truckloads of onion are likely to come from India,” he added.
After the abrupt Sep 14 ban, India on September 19 decided to allow export of some onion which was handed over to customs on the day the ban was imposed.
Two days after the ban, Bangladesh shared its "deep concern" with India, saying it undermines the discussions that took place in October last year and January this year.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh requested India to withdraw the ban as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to import onions from multiple sources to ensure enough supply of the popular kitchen item. Dhaka has already taken steps to import onions from Turkey and Egypt, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The consignment is expected to reach Chittagong port early next month.
The death toll from Narayanganj mosque blast rose to 34 after another victim died at Sheikh Hasina National Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute on Tuesday morning.
Sifat, 18, who was undergoing treatment at ICU, breathed his last in the morning, said Bacchu Miah, inspector of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) police outpost.
Earlier on Saturday, two more blast victims died at the hospital.
Around 40 people were injured in the blast at a mosque in Fatullah after Esha prayer on September 4.
Of them, 37 were taken to the Dhaka hospital in critical condition.
A group of Bangladeshi migrant workers demonstrated at Karwan Bazar on Tuesday morning demanding tickets to Saudi Arabia so that they can join their workplaces.
Saudi Arabia is set to allow flights from Dhaka from October 1 after around seven months of coronavirus restriction.
Several hundred migrant workers gathered in front of the Saudia Airlines office around 10am to secure tickets.
The airlines issued a notice that they have suspended issuing tickets, sparking protests. The workers then blocked the key Sonargaon crossing, halting vehicular movement for about an hour.
“The situation is normal now,” said Md Salauddin Miah, officer-in-charge of Tejgaon Police Station.
On Monday, Biman Bangladesh Airlines Managing Director Md Mokabbir Hossain said they got approval to operate flights to the kingdom from October 1.
Landing permission is required before beginning of seat reservation. But Saudi Arabia is yet to provide it, he said.
“So, now it’s not possible to start allocating seats for the passengers,” the MD said, adding that flights will be announced as soon as landing permission is received.
He also requested passengers not to gather at the counters before the flight announcement.
Seats will be allocated only to passengers who have a ticket to Saudi Arabia. For now, new tickets will not be sold.
Detailed information on seat allocation will be available on Biman's website from today.
The oil-rich kingdom is the most popular destination for migrant workers from Bangladesh. Last year, Bangladeshi migrants sent back US$18.355 billion. Of the amount, $3.647 billion (19.87 percent) were sent from Saudi Arabia.
Majeda Begum, the mother of Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim, passed away at a hospital in Khulna city on Monday night.
The 82-year-old had been suffering from old-age complications. She breathed her last at City Medical College Hospital at 11:53pm, said a PID handout.
She left behind four sons, two daughters and a host of well-wishers to mourn her death.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed profound shock and sorrow at the death of Majeda Begum.
In a message of condolence, the Prime Minister prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul and expressed deep sympathy to the bereaved family.
Besides, Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahb Uddin expressed profound sorrow at her death.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday called for not allowing geopolitical rivalries to weaken the United Nations as the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that both developed and developing nations need the UN more than ever.
“We must not allow our geopolitical rivalries to weaken the UN. We owe it to the founding fathers and future generations to make the UN a truly effective global body for humankind as a whole,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while delivering her speech virtually in the early hours on Tuesday (Bangladesh Time) at the high-level event arranged to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations at its headquarters in New York.
She said the challenges of the present time, including the current pandemic, go beyond borders and the COVID-19 has made the achievement of the 2030 Agenda more challenging. “It has exposed the inadequacies of the current international order,” she added.
“At the same time, the pandemic (COVID-19) has shown that both developed and developing nations need the UN more than ever. It has shown us that multilateralism is the way forward,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina urged the United Nations to provide a credible and practical roadmap for delivering on commitments and responding decisively to global challenges.
“To take the UN on the right course towards its centenary and beyond, UN@75 should provide a credible and practical roadmap for delivering on commitments and responding decisively to global challenges,” she said.
Noting that the 75th anniversary celebration of the United Nations is a momentous occasion for all, the Prime Minister said the commemoration bears special significance in Bangladesh as it coincides with the Birth Centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She mentioned that Bangabandhu at the UN assembly in 1974 had said, "……. the United Nations remains the focus of man's hope for the future."
“We have seen moments in history that made us re-group to change the course of human civilization. UN@75 presents another such moment. Let us seize this moment,” said Sheikh Hasina.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh owes a lot to the UN as it has benefitted from UN-led efforts for its development.
Referring to Bangladesh’s contribution to the UN peacekeeping missions, she said Bangladesh is contributing to the UN in fulfilling its mandates.
“We are committed to upholding peace across the world. Currently, Bangladesh is the leading troops and police contributing country in all peace operations,” she said adding that some 150 of Bangladeshi peacekeepers sacrificed their lives to secure peace in conflict-ravaged countries.
Sheikh Hasina in her speech commended the UN Secretary-General for keeping the flag of multilateralism high.