Thursday, 22 July 2010

Economy passing to alien hands

Special Correspondent

The economy is slowly but steadily passing hand to the aliens at a time when the country's ruling elite remained deeply embedded to new found strategic allies to beat back nationalist and Islamist forces in domestic politics.

In the business front, the country's fragile political situation is being utilised to use Bangladesh as the gateway to northeast and Indian businessmen are out to capture the key service sector and manufacturing industries.

Leaders of BGMEA and BKMEA, two apex bodies of the garment sector slowly speaking out the truth. They said Indian investors are now buying major garment factories in Bangladesh.

News reports meanwhile said many British, US and Canadian businessmen of Indian origin have already bought at least 50 key garment factories of the country including the famous SQ group, Crystal, Mustard, Hollywood, Shanta, Rose, Fortune, Trust, Ajax and such other manufacturing plants which have the record of earning billions of dollars in export earnings annually.

Businessmen of Indian origin are also negotiating the buying of another 100 garment factories at the moment, senior BGMEA sources are quoted to have said in talks with the local press. In addition to this, there are 140 garment factories now being laid off and they may eventually end up at the hands of foreign buyers.

BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedy reportedly said such passing of hand is taking place as part of free market economy in certain situations. He said many Indians are engaged here at managerial levels.

Former BKMEA president Fazlul Haque reportedly said the question is not who is buying, the truth is that it is going contrary to the country's interest.

The garment sector is treated as the major contributors to the nation's economic fortune generating tens and thousand of jobs mainly to the poor in addition to expansion of banking, insurance, transport, ports, shipping and such other services,

Now these engines of fortunes are passing hand to aliens mainly by way of violence, arson and vandalism.

Foreigners are also working to take control of the country's telecommunication sector by buying big telecom companies and sharing the submarine cable system. The country's domestic consumer market is already in the Indian hand with over US$ 3.5 billion trade deficit and Delhi is not willing to open its market to substantive duty free exports from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has agreed to open the connectivity under the joint declaration with India in Delhi in January this year.

In this background, a 21-member strong business delegation visited Bangladesh last week to hold talks with government and business leaders about how to use the mutuality to set up new infrastructure facilities in Bangladesh to open the transit gateway from western India to its northeast.

Influential Congress parliamentarian and former minister responsible for development of northeast Moni Sankar Iyar led the delegation. During the visit he also has urged Bangladesh businessmen to invest in the northeast.

The Indian trade delegation visited Ashuganj where India seeks quick mobilisation of resources to set up its port of call and develop port handling facilities. It is also in a hurry to build the 40 km long Ashuganj-Akhaura road to add new capacity to run heavy Indian transport vehicles.

Delhi has sought initial permission to carry equipment for a 1000 MW power plant to the Tripura state. The delegation also visited Chittagong port, assessed its present and future handling capacity and expressed the Indian desire to make investment in port facilities. It also talked about expansion of highway from port city to Tripura and Mizoram and developing infrastructure of the Mongla port to connect it with Indian business.

There is no study or configuration about it. Moreover, what is the security arrangement or sovereignty guarantee that Bangladesh will not become a vassal state at the end.

The Indian delegation has reportedly explored to build every bit of connectivity network by road, railway and water ways, by building bridges and dredging rivers.

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