Workers and other employees of different ship-breaking yards in Chittagong yesterday asked the government to cancel an amended statutory regulatory order (SRO) on the import of scrap vessels.
They formed a human chain on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in front of Bijoy Sarani Degree College at Bhatiary under Sitakunda upazila and carried banners and placards with slogans against the SRO and activities of nongovernmental organisations.
The human chain was followed by a procession that blocked the road for two hours.
Later, Bangladesh Ship Breakers Association (BSBA) held a press conference at Siko Steel Limited, a ship-breaking yard at Baro Aoulia.
An SRO was issued on January 26, amending the import policy that makes it mandatory for ship importers to submit pre-cleaning certificates before any ship enters the country's maritime territory.
BSBA leaders alleged that the SRO had been issued as part of a conspiracy by the NGOs and "foreign forces" to ruin the ship-breaking sector.
They also demanded introduction of a new policy suitable for the country after taking opinions from them. BSBA Vice-President Kamal Uddin read out a written statement at the briefing.