Saturday, June 22, 2024

Political strife takes heavy toll on economy

Economists, businesses express deep concern
Economists and business leaders have expressed their deep concern over the ongoing political instability and feared that the investment and economic growth will be hampered largely as they see no immediate solution to the ongoing political crisis.
The ongoing violence surrounding the elections will take heavy toll on the economy and will impose a negative impact on window of opportunity including potential growth rate and capital formation, they said while talking to New Age on Saturday.
In absence of political stability and security the economic growth will go towards the back which may push up unemployment, they said.
The businesses plan to sit together very shortly to work out their next course of action to protect their business amid political turmoil, the business leaders said.
They said that the new investment had come to a standstill and international trade and business had been mostly troubled mainly in the last 10 months due to political confrontation.
Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said that the foreign direct investment, economic growth and capital formation would hamper which would result unemployment.
He said that the rate of the outflow of capital would increase if the political unrest continued for long in the country.
Usually, a total of $1.4 million capital outflows from Bangladesh per year, Mustafiz added.
He said a political compromise was an urgent need to avoid both the long-, mid- and short-term impact on the economy.
‘We have taken initiative to persuade the two major political parties to sit in a dialogue for a solution to the elections-time government for the sake of the economy. The two top leaders heard our suggestions but are acting at their own will,’ Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed said.
He said that the businessmen were highly shocked and were passing their days in an uncertainty as they did not know what would happen in the days to come.
‘If the political parties fail to reach in a consensus over polls-time government the achievement of the last five years would be destroyed in the next three months,’ Akram said.
He also said that the business leaders would hold a further meeting among themselves to find out their next plan of action over the ongoing political situation.
The frequent strikes and violence in the name of politics are untoward for the businessmen, Akram added.
Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute, said that the economy would turn back if the political violence took place in the country for long.
‘No country can achieve its economic goal without political stability and ensuring security of investment and so a political solution of ongoing crisis is a must for the sake of economy,’ he said.
Ahsan said if the businesses failed to run their business smoothly and entrepreneurs refused to invest on security ground the country had to see a huge unemployment.
He suggested all for a political consensus to ensure security for the investment and political stability for the sake of economy.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Md Sabur Khan said, ‘It is very much unfortunate for the businessmen that the political differences between two major parties have been increasing gradually.’
‘The businessmen are straggling much for survival as the frequent unrest mostly hurts them,’ he said.
Sabur said the arrest of Abdul Awal Mintoo, a former FBCCI president, was a bad signal for the business community as he was arrested when the businesses were initiating a move for arranging a dialogue between the major two parties for a political solution.
He also said that the business leaders would sit soon to discuss the ongoing political situation.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Shahidullah Azim said that all of the exporters were passing through their days in severe uncertainty due to the ongoing political impasse.
Maintaining lead time was the big challenge for the sector as frequent hartal (general strike) disrupts supply chain and collapses transportation, he said.
Shahidullah said, ‘The buyers want to know that whether they will come to Bangladesh for placing orders now, but we cannot say anything as we do not know what will happen even tomorrow.’

-With New Age input

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