Hundreds of wheat laden trucks from India have been stuck at different borders of Bangladesh awaiting entry for the last three weeks.
The four lakh tonnes of wheat will rot amid the rains if they are left any longer, fear exporters on the Indian side.
The custom authorities are allegedly refusing entry owing to India's current ban on export of wheat and have said they will only let the truck enter upon directives from India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), reports The Telegraph.
DGFT had issued a notification on 13 May, banning the export of wheat with immediate effect. However, shipments for which letters of credit (LoC) had been issued before 13 May were to be allowed.
"At Mahadipur land port [corresponding to Sonamasjid land port in Bangladesh], around one lakh metric tonnes of wheat are stuck. These are consignments, for which we had received payments from Bangladeshi importers before 13 May. There is no reason why trucks carrying these consignments shouldn't be allowed to enter Bangladesh," said Uzzal Saha, the general secretary of the West Bengal Exporters' Coordination Committee (WBECC).
A customs official told The Telegraph, "We need a directive from the DGFT. Otherwise, we cannot allow trucks to enter Bangladesh."
The WBECC had sent a letter to India's Union commerce and industry Minister Piyush Goyal on 28 May, urging him to ask the DGFT to issue an order so that the wheat-laden trucks could enter Bangladesh.
The situation is same at Changrabandha, another land port in Cooch Behar district bordering Lalmonirhat in Bangladesh.
Bimal Kumar Ghosh, president of the Changrabandha Exporters' Association, said around 1,500 trucks laden with wheat had been stuck on the border since 12 May.
"Our payments were cleared through SWIFT [Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, an international bank payment system] and letters of credit also issued by Bangladeshi banks. The central government should consider the situation. We have no problem if documents of every truck are checked to confirm that the export formalities were finalised before the restriction," said Ghosh.
He also said, "Because of frequent heavy showers, water is seeping into the bags damaging the wheat. If the monsoon sets in, a major portion of the consignment will be wasted, which means huge losses for us."
An exporter based in Malda said around four lakh tonnes of wheat were stranded on the Bangladesh border in Bengal since 13 May.
"Bangladesh is one of our major buyers as importers save around 30% by buying Indian wheat instead of procuring it from other countries. In the last fiscal, around four million tonnes of the grain were exported to Bangladesh," he said.