Business leaders’ move for govt-opposition dialogue

Senior business leaders are holding informal discussions for opening talks with the government and opposition parties and also present concrete proposals to bring an end to the present volatile political situation.

The present situation has not only divided the nation but also hit the economy and business. It is not only destroying the investment climate,  also casing serious backlash to exports-oriented industries .

Most exporters are failing to make shipment in time facing cancellation of orders. The business leaders are unitedly trying to work out a common stance to engage in dialogue with the government and the opposition.

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the apex trade body of the country has initiated the process of consultation beginning with chambers and trade associations.  They have developed a common stance and a plan of discussion and action which may be accepted in a few days.

In their first meeting held at a city hotel on Friday night where the business leaders identified five major issues contributing to tension, violence, divisiveness and uncertainties threatening business, productivity and national stability, FBCCI sources told The New Nation yesterday.

The five issues are: critically hostile stands among major political parties, division within the nation over the Shahbagh demonstration vis-a-vis the trial for war crimes, search for a formula to unite the divided nation, creating an atmosphere conducive to open dialogue. They also talked about measures to stop excesses use of force by the police on people in the streets.

The business leaders are scheduled to meet again Monday to finalise their proposals to adopt a unanimous document for presentation to the government and the major opposition parties.

Although business leaders agreed on the five main problems affecting nation’s body politic now, there are also apprehension among them that partisan political attitude of some of them may remain a problem.

They, however, noted with caution that failure of the political leadership to start a process of crisis resolution through negotiated settlement would throw the country to a chaos which may in turn invite intervention by a third party.

When contacted former FBCCI president Abdul Awal Mintoo confirmed the holding of parleys among themselves. But he refused to elaborate.

The incumbent FBCCI President Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed could not be reached for comments despite several attempts on his cell phone.

Welcoming the FBCCI move, the outgoing BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said, the business community never supports destructive politics because it brings nothing but damages the economy making investors and foreign buyers shaky.

“Export business has already suffered a setback due to the frequent hartals by the opposition and the situation turned to such a point that we cannot afford even a single day more hartal,” he noted.

“A fruitful discussion among the parties could save the nation from the ongoing crisis,” he added. The New Nation

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