DHAKA: The new minister made the announcement on Monday at the Secretariat after assuming his duties. Chanda was recently promoted from the post of state minister at the same ministry. Our hilsa production has increased and there is demand in the international market so we want to move towards exports,” he said. The Ministry of Commerce banned the export of hilsa and other fish on Aug 1, 2012. The ban on all fish except hilsa was lifted on Sept 23 of that year. Though the ban is in effect, hilsa fish are being smuggled out of the country, Chanda said. As a result the government is losing out in taxes. If we allow exports it will open the way for legal trade and diminish smuggling significantly.”
Large hilsa fish are smuggled out of the country and are thus rarely available on the domestic market, he said. The government will also continue conservation efforts to protect female hilsa fish.
According to the ministry, hilsa fish make up nearly 11 percent of fish produced in Bangladesh. The fish also contributes 1 percent to the country’s GDP. Nearly 75 percent of world hilsa production occurs in Bangladesh. The fish provides direct and indirect employment to 2 million people.