Sylhet city unit of Awami League general secretary Asad Uddin Ahmad on Sunday took the charge of the administrator of Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industry as the institution’s executive committee failed to hold an election within its two-year term.
The government assigned an administrator for trade body for the fourth time between 2009 and 2019 as the successive committees failed to hold election in time over internal conflicts, official sources said.
The chamber’s outgoing president Khandaker Shiper Ahmad formally handed over the charge of the institution to Asad Uddin at function at the instruction of commerce ministry.
Asad, at the function, sought help to all to hold a fair election within next 120 days to elect office bearers of the chamber.
He said he would try his best to hold the election within the time stipulated by the ministry.
Local MP Mahmud-Us Samad Chowdhury, SCCI former senior vice-president Masud Ahmad Chowdhury, vice-president Emdad Hossain, former directors Sahidur Rahman, Wahiduzzaman (Bhutto), Mushfiq Zaygirder, Ehteshamul Haque Chowdhury, and Abdur Rahman Jamil, among others, were present at the programme.
In 2009, the commerce ministry had appointed Faruque Mahmud Chowdhury as the SCCI administrator after then executive committee failed to hold election in time.
In 2011, additional deputy commissioner (general) Abul Hasan was appointed the SCCI administrator and former additional deputy commissioner (general) AZM Nurul Haque was appointed in the same position in 2015 for third time as the institution members got divided over holding election.
The immediate-past committee had announced schedule for holding the polls on April 7 in this year, but the commerce ministry on April 2 postponed the polls following the allegation of making members based on false information and inducting their names in voters’ list.
Responding to a petition filed by the outgoing SCCI president Khandaker Shiper Ahmad on April 4, the commerce ministry, however, extended the time of the outgoing committee for three months to hold an election.
According to ministry circular, the SCCI executive committee on April 25 also constituted a board to run election and an appellate board to review any appeal filed by the institution member.
But, former SCCI director Tahmin Ahmad filed a writ petition challenging the legality of forming the two boards before amending the voters’ list of the institution.
Responding to the petition, the High Court on April 28 adjourned activities of holding the election for next six months and asked the commerce ministry to explain its position that why its initiative to extend tenure of the SCCI committee would not be declared illegal.
Later, the appellate division of the Supreme Court also upheld the HC order in this regard, forcing the commerce ministry to appoint an administrator for the chamber for the fourth time in a decade, SCCI officials said.