Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-The apparel sector of Bangladesh incurred a loss of $56 million in the political unrest that began from January 5 this year.
The garment industry is the main source of income for the Bangladesh economy, according to a report of BBC.
According to the information of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), a single day hartal causes loss of BDT 2.5 billion as production of garment items and shipment process are hampered badly.
BNP-led 20-party alliance has been urging supporters to enforce a nationwide blockade of roads and other infrastructure along with frequent strike to pressure Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for a fresh general election.
More than 50 people have died in the violence, and Bangladesh’s business community is growing increasingly worried.
The ongoing political turmoil has been taking a heavy toll on the garment sector which was crippled on compliance issues following the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013.
On April 24, the nine-storey Rana Plaza housing several garment factories collapsed, leaving more than 1,100 mostly garment workers dead.
The sector failed to fetch foreign exchange up to the desired level by exporting apparels due to the unrest, experts said.
The political unrest began on January 5 when BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was barred by law enforcers from coming out of her Gulshan office to attend an anti-government rally in Dhaka.
Khaleda, also a former premier of Bangladesh, has been staying in her Gulshan office since January 3.
The alliance is also protest the confinement of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at her party Gulshan office and arrest of party leaders and activists.
BNP said its party chief was “confined” but the government denied the allegation though it had put additional law enforcers and sand-laden trucks in front of Khaleda’s office.
The government however removed the security barriers after 16 days on January 19.
Several hundred people including law enforcers were also injured during the blockade and strike.
Hundreds of vehicles were also torched and vandalised in the political agitation.
BBN/AS-3Feb15-1:00pm (BST)