Rid of Hartal

Rid of Hartal (November 27, 2010)

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) has urged the political parties to look for an alternative programme to hartal as it goes against the people's basic rights.
"General strike violates the rights of the people in many ways as it hampers their movement and economic activities," said acting BKMEA president Habibur Rahman at a press meet in the capital on Saturday.
Rahman urged the main opposition BNP to call off their Tuesday's countrywide dawn-to-dusk general strike in the greater interest of the national economy. He also requested the ruling alliance to adopt a policy that they would avoid calling hartal even when they would be out of power.
"The political parties need to reach an understanding and find out an alternative programme to hartal to realise their demands and vent their angers," he told reporters.
Rahman said the knitwear industry experienced a staggering growth of over 37 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year and the general strike would deal a big blow to it. He said Bangladesh managed to gain the confidence of foreign buyers over the last couple of years, as there was virtually no general strike during the period, but the hartal culture has staged a comeback and it would seriously jeopardise this business-friendly environment.
"Give us a chance to accelerate the economic growth and create employment opportunities for our people by avoiding general strike. People want to see a 'hartal-free Bangladesh'."