The businesses have reacted with concerns to the 48-hour shutdown called by the Jamaat-e-Islami from Wednesday and asked the party to withdraw it.
Apex trade body – the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and two associations of apparel manufacturers made the call in two statements on Tuesday.
The Jamaat called the strike to defy the Supreme Court handing down death sentence to its Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Molla.
The FBCCI statement said: “The economy of the country is moving towards disaster and uncertainty because of frequent strikes and the political culture of conflict and confrontation.”
It pointed out that the export and economic growth were on ‘positive’ trajectory since there was no strike and political violence over the past one month.
“Such a destructive shutdown programme in this situation will push the economy into disaster. That is not desired by people, including the business community, of the country.”
A joint statement of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said the export-oriented apparel sector had been ‘deeply concerned’ over the strike call.
It said frequent strikes had ‘badly affected’ the readymade garment industry. “The industry will plunge into further trouble if the two-day shutdown is enforced.”
The statement said a delegation of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a combine of US-based garment importers, was visiting Bangladesh following their announcement to extend financial assistance to Bangladeshi factories.
The delegation is holding meetings with apparel sector stakeholders on safety measures in the garment industry, the statement said.
“If there is any shutdown during this visit of the delegation, the objective of their trip can be compromised. A negative perception can develop among them about Bangladesh, which will be unexpected for this industry.”
The Jamaat in a statement signed by its Acting Secretary General Rafiqul Islam Khan called the strike for Wednesday and Thursday to protest against a ‘state-sponsored conspiracy’ of eliminating Jamaat leaders.
Source: Bd news24