Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The country’s top business leaders have urged the political parties to refrain from calling strike, generally known as hartal,  and look for alternative to ensure the overall economic growth.
“Hartal affects import and export activities. We’re concerned about our investment. We’re now thinking whether we will invest in future or not,” President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) A K Azad told a press conference on Tuesday.
“You can’t measure losses in terms of amounts of money all the time. Sometimes, it’s a matter of realization. We’re getting affected and we’re in a state of suffocation,” he noted.
Expressing deep sympathy for the family of missing BNP organizing secretary M Ilias Ali, Azad said the business community is also worried over the incident. “We expect the government will come up with a specific statement over the incident as soon as possible.”
The FBCCI arranged the press conference to let the countrymen know about its stance over the changed political and economic situations.
The business leaders said all economic activities came to a halt during the three-day hartal, called by the main opposition BNP in protest against “abduction” of one of its key leaders, Ilias Ali.
They noted that transportation sector faced a setback during the hartal, leading to the rise in the prices of major food items.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) president AKM Selim Oslam, acting Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) president Haider Ahmed Khan, Bangladesh Insurance Association (BIA) chairman Sheikh Kabir Hossain, Standard Bank chairman Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) director Sayed Tareq Aziz, Chittagong Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CMCCI) president Monwara Hakim Ali and Bangladesh Shop Owners Association (BSOA) president Amir Hossain were, among others, spoke on the occasion.
BBN/SSR/AD-25Apr12-2:50 am (BST)