AGARTALA: Increase in the dollar rate due to demonetization has an adverse effect on Indo-Bangla trade. Import of essential perishable food items like fish, vegetables and other construction materials from Bangladesh has declined due to cash crunch after November 8 midnight.
“Our import-export trade has suffered a 70 percent jolt after the notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 were banned. The rate of dollar has increased from 64 to nearly 70. We are in doubt whether the trade would be normalized if fresh currency notes are available in the market,” secretary of Import-Export Association Habul Biswas said.
“If the trade doesn’t improve, there would be a negative impact on the state’s economy,” he said.
The trade between the two countries is carried through Agartala-Akhaura land port, second largest trading point between India and Bangladesh.
Around 3,000 people including over 150 daily-wage labours associated with the export-import business are facing the heat within less than a month of the demonetization drive.
“As the trade is hampered due to demonetization, the labours engaged in loading-unloading of the goods are about to get their payments for the last two weeks. We even thought to give their due salary in their bank accounts, but many of them do not have account in banks,” said one trader associated with cement business.
As the supply of fish gets lessened in the market, it naturally reduced the number of buyers forcing the sellers to fear about their future.
“Though Rs. 2000 denomination reached the state, the fish vendors are not at all ready to give changes for the note. They asked us first if we could give changes, he would be ready to sell fish. This can’t go for a long time. Naturally, we have avoided visiting fish markets,” Tulsi Dhar, a homemaker said.
“We are accepting the Rs 500 notes from those who are buying fish worth more than Rs 100. We are not changing the currency note if you do not buy fish,” said Suman Barman, a fish seller.
According to the record of Land Ports Authority, total 469 lorries carrying essential food items and other commodities entered Tripura from Bangladesh till November 24.
“Initially, negative effects on import of commodities were visible. But, now the situation is about to be normal. Total 469 lorries have entered from Bangladesh till day before yesterday. We do not see any such alarming situation in trade before and after demonetization,” D . Nandi, manager of Land Ports Authority of India said.
Featured image(courtesy): Udayavani