Swadhinata Parishad, a new forum floated by a section of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association members for participating in the BGMEA elections, on Saturday said that it was considering taking legal step against the government’s decision of time extension of the current board of directors of the trade body.
‘The BGMEA has turned into an inactive association as the leadership of the trade body was being selected by an influential quarter in last couple of years ignoring the long-practiced democratic system at the trade body,’ Md Zahangir Alam, convener of the Swadhinata Parishad, said at a press conference held at the La Vinci Hotel in Dhaka.
He said that the BGMEA was no more a platform for looking after the interest of its members and garment business but it turned into a platform for amassing political power.
The one-year extension of the tenure of current executive board of BGMEA was completely illegal as the existing president of the trade body submitted letter to the commerce ministry seeking time extension after the election schedule was declared, Zahangir said.
‘We have already sent a letter to the commerce ministry, demanding cancellation of the extension of the tenure of the current board. If necessary, we will go to court so that the BGMEA becomes bound to hold the elections,’ he said.
Zahangir, also the managing director of Desing & Source Limited, a big garment exporting company, said that the next BGMEA board elections were supposed to be held in March this year but the current board got extension from the commerce ministry.
The current board sought the extension showing as causes implementation of the new wage board, demolition of the BGMEA building and the national elections, he said.
The extension is not required for those reasons as the issues are not related with the elections of the trade body, he said.
Zahangir alleged that the extension was not made following rules as the current board had to call an extraordinary general meeting for the extension.
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.
With the latest extension, the existing board of the trade body will be in office up to March 22, 2019 as the first extension (six months) ends on March 22 this year.
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