The apparel exporters' association is concerned as a large number of import and export goods laden trucks are currently stuck at Indian points – especially in Bangaon
Hundreds of Bangladesh-bound trucks carrying raw material and goods are currently stuck in the Bangaon area of India – which is on the opposite side of Benapole border, and this delay has made it difficult for readymade garment (RMG) exporters to maintain lead times.
Addressing the exporters' concerns, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Wednesday sent a letter to the High Commission of India in Dhaka, seeking the nation's support in ensuring a smooth flow of goods at the border.
In the letter, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said, "We are hearing from forwarders and clearing agents in Benapole that the Indian customs points – particularly Bangaon – are facing long delays due to scrutiny, security and lack of manpower, and the transit time is getting is very long for the trucks to cross the Bangaon-Benapole border.
"As a large number of import and export goods laden trucks are stuck at Indian points, it is hampering import and export businesses with India, and also impacting the transit time of raw materials for RMG factories in Bangladesh."
The letter continued, "We have confidence that you can use your good office to solve this problem at Indian Custom point to expedite the smooth flow of goods from India, and thereby further facilitate the bilateral trade growth."
Commenting on the matter, Sparrow Group's Managing Director Shovon Islam said, "I import raw material worth $50 million from India for my factory every year. Seventy percent of these materials come through the Benapole port.
"A large consignment of my imported raw material is currently stuck in the Bangaon area of India."
Owner of Towhid Enterprise, a clearing and forwarding agent at Benapole, Nur Hossain said, "Around 400 trucks enter the Benapole port from India's Bangaon area during usual times, but the number has dropped to just 100.
"We have learned that around 1,500 trucks are currently stuck at the other side of this border."
Bangladesh imports raw material worth around $4 billion-$5 billion from India annually, and 70% of the consignments enters Bangladesh through Benapole-Bangaon route.