Businesses have urged the government to postpone the decision on shutting down shops, shopping malls, markets and kitchen markets after 8:00pm till Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest religious festivals for Muslims.
They came up with the call at the first meeting of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Standing Committee on Development of Local Garments held at the FBCCI Board Room in Dhaka on Saturday, according to a press release.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday asked all concerned to take necessary measures to shut down shops, shopping malls, markets and kitchen markets across the country after 8:00pm every day.
The instruction was given through a circular signed by Prime Minister’s Office Director General (Administration) Mohd Ahsan Kibria Siddiqui.
The notification was issued aimed at saving power and energy against the backdrop of worldwide continued price hike of the power and energy.
At the meeting, businesses said that they have been deprived of the full-scale festival centric sale due to the two-year long Covid-19 pandemic and thus incurred huge losses.
Thanking the prime minister, business leaders said that with the help of timely incentive packages during the pandemic, the traders are working relentlessly now to revive the economy.
Under the circumstances, they said, if the sales close after 8:00pm, the process of revival will be stumbled.
FBCCI Senior Vice-President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu also echoed the demand of the traders and called for postponing the government decision till Eid-ul-Azha.
“The office-goers usually prefer to visit shopping malls after evening. Therefore, the instruction will discourage them to shop, which would put millions of small and medium entrepreneurs into further loss,” he added.
The Standing Committee members also called for initiatives to set up a garment village for the manufacturers who produce clothing for the domestic market.
ALSO READ: Govt decides to shut shops, markets after 8pm
They said that garment manufacturers have to procure raw materials from different places, repackage and sell those in the wholesale market which accumulates a huge cost.
A dedicated garment village will ease the business process and reduce the cost and also facilitate buyers to afford clothing at a cheaper price, read the release.
Echoing the demands of the traders, Vice-President MA Momen assured that the FBCCI would take initiatives to discuss with the ministry concerned in this regard.
“Businesses will face additional challenges after LDC graduation in 2026. Hence, the local sector needs to be stronger,” he noted.
While chairing the meeting, Standing Committee Chairman and President of Bangladesh Avhantarin Poshak Prostutkarak Malik Samity Md Alauddin Manik said they meet the huge domestic demand and thus help reduce import cost. The sector would further flourish if it gets bank loans.
Director-in-Charge of the committee Abu Motaleb complained that the tax officials harass traders in the name of collecting revenue. He called for the end of the harassment.
FBCCI directors Shafiqul Islam Vorosha and Hafez Harun also spoke at the meeting.
Among others, co-chairmen MH Mostofa, Md Abul Khayer, Md Sarwar Uddin Khan, Md Tipu Sultan, Md Kefayetullah Twinkle, and Junaed Ibna Ali were also present.