The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Sunday urged public transport owners to end their ongoing transport strike and requested students to call off their protests for safer roads to bring back normalcy to daily life, trade and business in the country.
At a press briefing held in Dhaka, FBCCI president Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said that the transport strike parallel to students’ movement would put negative impact on the country’s image and investment prospect.
The existing situation has created a possibility of rising inflation rate as supply of essential commodities is being hampered due to shutdown in transport operation, he said.
Small traders and entrepreneurs are facing severe losses in the situation that has also impeded the import-export activities at ports particularly at Chittagong port creating stagnation in international trade, he said.
He said that the FBCCI would discuss with the transport owners to request them to withdraw the ongoing strike and make the situation normal as soon as possible.
‘We are very concerned in the situation,’ he said.
He also expressed apprehension over the security of the protesting students if vested quarters infiltrated in the movements.
There is a possibility of infiltration from both political and non-political vested quarters if the movement prolongs as the movement has been running completely by minor students and it has no leadership, he said.
Mohiuddin said that the students’ movement for safe roads and resulting transport strike were hampering the normal life of people, which was also very harmful for the economy.
‘The FBCCI doesn’t support the situation though it, like all sections of society, has been supporting the rational movement of students,’ he said.
He said that such situation was not expected in any way in a time when the country was trying to rebound in maintaining growth in export earnings and overcoming slowdown in remittance earnings.
Various measures have been being taken to encourage investment, keep business activities running and continue overall economic development of the country, he said.
The overall trade and business would face severe damage if such instability continues before the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, he said.
‘The issue of paying salary and bonus of workers should also be considered. We have to see that such movement doesn’t create any problem in paying salary and bonus of workers,’ he added.
Students should go back home and pay attention to study as the government has taken various steps to fulfil their demands and continue to take measures to make the roads safer, he said, adding that the students’ movement had also opened the eyes of the government high-ups and law enforcing agencies.
Transport owners and workers should also end their strike to ensure normal life of people and economic activities, he added.
Mohiuddin urged the transport owners not to appoint any minor and unskilled drivers, not to run unfit vehicles and refrain from competitions for loading more passengers terming those as the main reasons for the high rate of road accidents.
He also urged the government and law enforcing agencies for strict enforcement of laws to ensure safety in roads.
FBCCI senior vice-president Sheikh Fazle Fahim, vice-president Muntakim Ashraf, former Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Atiqul Islam and FBCCI directors were present at the briefing.
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