The government on Monday extended the tenure of the office bearers of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association by one more year, shunning the BGMEA directorship elections supposed to be held on March 7.
With the latest move, the government extended the tenure of the existing BGMEA board twice since the two-year term of the board expired on September 21 last year.
As per the extension by the commerce ministry, the existing board of the trade body will be in office up to March 22, 2019 as the first extension ends on March 22 this year, a BGMEA leader said.
The trade body got the first extension (six months) from the ministry on the grounds that the BGMEA had to relocate its headquarters as the Supreme Court declared the building illegal and ordered to demolish it within six months.
The current board under the leadership of its incumbent president, Md Siddiqur Rahman, assumed the office of the trade body on September 22, 2015 through a negotiation process for a two-year term.
A senior official of the commerce ministry said that commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Monday approved the application submitted by the BGMEA seeking extension of the tenure of existing board of directors of the organisation by one year.
According to the ministry sources, the BGMEA had sought one more year extension showing as cause that it has to bring necessary changes in its memorandum of association in line with the December 5, 2017 amendments to the Trade Organisations Rules.
‘The government has extended the tenure of the board of directors of the BGMEA by one more year considering the present situation and challenges of the readymade garment sector,’ Mohammed Nasir, vice-president of the trade body, told New Age.
He said that in a meeting with the commerce minister, former presidents of the BGMEA on January 26 explained the existing and upcoming challenges of the RMG sector and requested him to extend the tenure of the existing committee.
As per a decision made at the meeting, the BGMEA formally submitted an application to the
ministry seeking extension of its board’s tenure and the government allowed the incumbents time
up to March 21, 2019, Nasir said.
During the BGMEA elections in 2015, the two platforms of the garment factory owners — Sammilita Parishad and Forum — reached a consensus that Md Siddiqur Rahman would be the president from Sammilita Parishad for the 2015-2017 tenure while the next president would be elected from Forum for the period 2017-2019.
As per the consensus, Shahidul Islam, a leader of Forum, was supposed to be selected the president of the trade body and the election board of the trade body started a process declaring the election schedule on December 18 last year.
As per the schedule, the election board has already published the preliminary voter list of the trade body to hold polls on March 7 this year.
According to a BGMEA member, there is no scope for holding the BGMEA board elections under the declared schedule after the one-year extension of tenure of the current board.
A number of BGMEA members said that the extension came following an instruction from the government high ups.
The government high ups want to see the exiting leaders of the BGMEA in office up to the next national elections, which are likely to be held at the end of this year, they said.
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