The Bangladesh government has granted approval for the export of approximately 4,000 metric tonnes of Hilsa, a highly esteemed fish among Bengalis, to India in preparation for West Bengal’s major festival, Durga Puja. This decision was conveyed through an official statement released on Wednesday.
The Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce has authorized 79 business entities to export a total of 3,950 metric tonnes of Hilsas to India, with each exporter allowed to ship 50 metric tonnes. This export permission will remain in effect until October 30, as stated in an official announcement by the administration of Sheikh Hasina.
Hilsa, recognized as the national fish of Bangladesh, holds a Geographical Indication (GI) tag and is among the country’s notable export commodities. In 2020, Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, had urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to reconsider the ban on Hilsa exports to India during Hasina’s visit to Kolkata.
However, Hasina emphasized that her country would only lift the export restrictions if India ensured a fair allocation of water from the Teesta River in North Bengal to Bangladesh. This gesture is in response to the passionate fondness for Hilsa among Bengali fish enthusiasts.