“The country’s economy is at stake now due to frequent hartal calls. Our image is being tarnished globally. If such an instable political situation continues in the country, investment both from home and abroad will be hindered,” the apex trade body said in a statement.
It said the economic base of the country, including the productive sector, export-oriented industries and banking and insurance sectors are heading towards ruination. “We earnestly request the political parties concerned to call off the hartal called for Wednesday and Thursday.”
The FBCCI said the country’s business community appreciated the unity and attitude of politicians following the sad demise of President Zillur Rahman. “At this transitional period of the country’s politics, the business community thinks political parties will resolve all the problems showing restraint, sympathy and practicing coexistence.”
Earlier, at a function both outgoing and new presidents of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and M Atiqul Islam voiced concern over the prevailing political instability in the country.
Mohiuddin said they would raise public opinion against hartal and BGMEA will take the lead to carry out an anti-hartal campaign among the business community.
He said the political parties should consider alternative peaceful political programmes considering the sensitivity of the industry, especially the RMG sector.
Earlier in the day, the BNP-led 18-party alliance called a countrywide 36-hour shutdown from 6 am on Wednesday demanding the release of its leaders and activist arrested from BNP’s Nayaplatan central office on March 11 and protesting “countrywide mass killing at the behest of the government”.