Find alternate way of protest: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Tuesday said hartal cannot continue in the country and stressed the need for finding an alternate way of protest.“Hartal cannot continue in the country for the sake of economy…solution to this and an alternate way of protest will have to be found out,” he said.
The Finance Minister made the remarks to the reporters after a joint delegation of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association (BTMA) met him at his Secretariat office.
BGMEA president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, BKMEA president AKM Selim Osman and BTMA president Jahangir Alamin led their respective association.
During the meeting, the business leaders of the RMG sector expressed grave concern over the recent political unrest and requested the Finance Minister to take immediate steps to find out a solution to this problem.
Referring to the recent countrywide hartal, Muhith said, “The religion of Jamaat-Shibir is violence and they don’t believe in constructive politics.”
He also told the reporters that the government will stand beside the businesses if they come forward with any suitable solution to the present political turmoil.
BGMEA president Shafiul Islam alleged that many businessmen will become loan defaulters following disruption of their business operations due to the frequent hartals called by the opposition parties.
He said they do not want to give any advice to the political parties, rather request them to consider the greater interest of the business people and the country’s economy. “The politicians will do their politics in their own way…we’re also working for the country, contributing to the country’s economy,”
Regarding the demand of lowering the bank interest rates, Shafiul Islam informed that the Finance Minister had assured them of considering their demand in consultation with the central bank.
He said proper environment for investment would have to be created by lowering the interest rates as the inflation rate has also come down in the country.
The BGMEA president also requested the Finance Minister for increasing the timeframe from three months of declaring loan defaulters.
BTMA president Jahangir Alamin said that around Tk 1,500 crore of the businessmen have been stuck up in different banks under Inland Bill Purchase (IBP) for more than 150 days for which they are facing difficulty.
He requested the Finance Minister to take steps in resolving this problem at the earliest. UNB

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