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People have started rejecting hartal:FBCCI
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People have started rejecting hartal:FBCCI

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on Thursday said there is no need to enact any law to ban hartal as people themselves have already started coming out to stop it.“There’s no need to formulate any law to ban hartal now…people are enough to do that, and they’ve already started coming out to raise their voice against it,” FBCCI president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed told a press conference at its conference room.
Describing traffic congestions and almost as usual business in the city during hartals with the movement of both people and vehicles, he said these indicate people have come out to oppose shutdowns.
The press conference was arranged to brief the media about the business community’s deep concern as their repeated appeals to the relevant political parties to refrain from calling shutdown programmes in the greater interest of the economy go unheeded.
FBCCI first vice president Monwara Hakim Ali, vice president M Helal Uddin and other directors were present.
The FBCCI president told reporters that it is the readymade garment sector and small businesspeople who suffer most because of such nonstop hartal programmes.
“We need to come out of this culture,” he said calling on the political parties and organisations to refrain from calling hartals during the holy month of Ramadan, and in the future.
Responding to a question, the FBCCI President said the business community is always against hartal, and they have long been demanding a ban on it, but the political parties are not paying heed to that.
“Let’s come out all. Nobody will be able to enforce hartal. We want peace… at least in this holy month of Ramadan,” Kazi Akram said.
He said the country’s export-import activities, production in industrial units and transportation of goods are being disrupted due to hartal.
The FBCCI chief also said there is a possibility of disaster in the Ramadan business due to ongoing political instability coupled with hartal and hartal-related violence.
Responding to a question, Kazi Akram said since the business is being disrupted it will be difficult for many to pay salaries and Eid bonus to the workers and employees. “If the owners fail to generate income, how will they pay salaries and bonus?”
He said the joint efforts ensured stability in the kitchen market but their endeavours are turning out to be futile due to disruption in supply chain following the continuous hartal.
“We’re even putting in our efforts at the personal level to strike a balance between demand and supply in the Ramadan market,” the FBCCI chief said.
Since businessmen along with people have started resisting hartal, the FBCCI President said, there will be no scope of hartal in the economy.
Referring to destructive activities during the recent shutdowns, he said the government is not taking any effective steps though those involved in hartal violence are shown in TV footages and newspaper reports. “We actually don’t know whether the government is taking any step.”
The business leader, also the chairman of Standard Bank Ltd, said the prices of essentials are going out of people’s reach due to hartal violence. “It’s in no way acceptable to us.” – UNB

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