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Bangladesh Inc. request PM, opposition to settle political crisis
Wednesday January 28, 2015 9:42 PM, IANS

The Bangladesh business community Wednesday urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia to end the current political crisis which has led to a difficult economic situation.

A delegation of the business leaders handed over memorandums to this effect to Hasina and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Zia, Xinhua news agency reported.

Zia, who leads a 20-party coalition, has called a country-wide blockade from Jan 6 demanding fresh elections under a non-party caretaker government system as she said the election in January last year was illegal.

The national blockade has claimed 38 lives so far and left 769 people injured.

Earlier, the business leaders organised a human chain in Dhaka to urge BNP to immediately withdraw the ongoing country-wide blockade.

They also urged the prime minister to take immediate steps to settle the current political crisis.

But Hasina said it was impossible to hold an election under the caretaker system and the general election will not be held before 2019.

Hundreds of exporters and importers in the garment and other sectors have been facing heavy financial losses due to the non-stop blockade and a series of shutdowns called by BNP-led opposition combine, according to the business leaders.

The industrial sector is the worst hit by the ongoing political crisis that continues to hamper transportation.

Meanwhile, prices of almost all essential items, including vegetables, are on the rise due to arson attacks on transportation vehicles.

Rustom Ali Khan, general secretary of Bangladesh Truck and Covered Van Owners Associations, said the number of vans plying between Dhaka and the southeastern Chittagong port every day has slumped to 7,000 from 14,000 during the blockade.

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