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‘The businessmen pay tax and it is the duty of the government to ensure a business-friendly climate in the country’

image_705_163081The businessmen want a peaceful environment for growth of trade and commerce and also for industrialisation as it would help employment creation in the country. The businessmen pay tax and it is the duty of the government to ensure a business-friendly climate in the country.

Md. Harun-ur Rashid, Chairman and Managing Director of Asian Group and also Director of the FBCCI said this in an exclusive interview with daily sun.

Daily Sun: Could you please tell us what impact the ongoing political situation is putting on the business and economy of the country?

Harunur Rashid: The nation is now passing through a bad situation. People vote the political parties for their betterment but some political parties are now causing harm to the economy and destabilising the development process. The ongoing political conflict and continued agitation programme is affecting country’s trade, commerce and economy severely.

Solutions to the current political disputes mainly depend on the mentality of the politicians and if they wish they can resolve the crises through discussion.

Otherwise it would cause miseries to 16 crore people of the country. People want peace, social security so that they can earn their livelihood and above all they want economic uplift. At such a situation prevailing now, the serviceholders, shopkeepers, businessmen or the professionals are at risks of insecurity.

An entrepreneur always remains at uncertainty for safety of his or her enterprise. Workers have to take risk as they are compelled to go to duty even at worse situation.

The politicians should change their mentality. The elections of the chamber bodies are held in a neutral and free environment. We get united after the election for the betterment for the business community.

The businessmen want a peaceful environment for creation of employment, industrialisation. They pay tax and the government’s duty is to ensure a business-friendly climate in the country.

The situation now has taken such a shape where businessmen are incurring losses as they are forced to shut their businesses and factories. The situation is leading to increase in unemployment which will ultimately drive more youths towards unlawful activities.

Daily Sun: As a director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), could you say whether FBCCI will make any specific proposal to the government or opposition parties for avoiding destructive political programmes?

Harunur Rashid: You know that the FBCCI is elected with participation of the representatives from all the business chambers and associations of the country. So, first of all, a discussion has to be held with the members. The FBCCI President then can take an initiative. None of the people or businessmen want hartal, blockade type destructive programmes. Every hartal programme cause damages to a number of vehicles. Hundreds or thousands of vehicles have been destroyed during the political programmes.

Daily Sun: As one of the leading industrialists, how do you evaluate the investment climate of the country?

Harunur Rashid: I think, the major hindrance to investment in our country is its complicated procedure for trade and commerce and high rate of bank interests. Bank interest rate impedes the expansion of industrialization and entrepreneurship development of the country.

Besides, insufficient gas and power supply is creating obstacles to business growth. New industries cannot commence operation due to power and gas shortages while many of old industries facing closure for the same reason.

Two of my spinning mills at Muktarpur have remained closed due to gas constraint. This caused unemployment of nearly 5000 workers. Many industries at Moktarpur, Panchabati regions have remained closed for gas shortage.

But the power situation has improved to some extent during the present government which I believe will improve further in the near future. The present government is keen to overcome power and gas constraints and it is expected that within the year 2015, the country will experience a major improvement in power generation.
I believe, if the government wants then the interest rate could be reduced to single digit. It is a long-waited demand of the country’s business community.


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