Politics has become the biggest entrepreneurship of a section of businesspeople who have been availing themselves of different personal benefits from the government without facing any competition, said Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya.
Debapriya, the distinguished fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said this in his remarks on the upcoming election at a press briefing marking the release of the Unctad Report 2018 on LDCs. CPD organised the briefing at the Brac Centre Inn which was also addressed by its another distinguished fellow Prof Mustafizur Rahman and executive director Dr Fahmida Khatun.
CPD research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem made a presentation on Unctad (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) Report where good governance issue got preference in Bangladesh business context. Debapriya observed that a competitive election is a must for creating a competitive business environment where every businessperson is treated equally.
“Unfortunately, it is seen that a particular class of businesspeople are getting personal benefits instead of bargaining for common community interests. They don’t speak against bank looting or any other unfair means or the absence of good governance,” he said.
If such businesspeople get elected, they will sit in the parliamentary standing committee to get more business benefits, he said urging the Election Commission (EC) to make it mandatory for the candidates to make their wealth statements which public will be verified by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
Unctad Report said small entrepreneurs in Bangladesh are facing various kinds of impediments including cash crunch at the early stage of their business.It said the total number of entrepreneurs has increased over the last one decade as the number of self-employers stood at 29.5 million in 2017 which was 20 million in 2006.
“The share of total informal employment has decreased over the time though it’s not satisfactory yet,” said the report adding that the entrepreneurs mainly face the problems like insufficient capital, lack of technical knowledge, lack of electricity, water supply, complex regulation, lack of raw materials and lack of buyers.
It also observed that one-10 of readymade garment (RMG) factories are dependent on single products.Prof Mustafizur Rahman said the political parties who are moving for election should adopt their economic policies so that Bangladesh can smoothly face the challenges in upgrading from LDC to a developing country.
He said the political parties have to evolve economic strategies to determine that whether it will have jobless growth or a growth with more employment.A government policy-support can help entrepreneurs grow their business competing with business in other countries,” Mustafizur Rahman said.