Khatunganj wholesalers take a hit from hartal | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 14, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 14, 2012

Khatunganj wholesalers take a hit from hartal

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Khatunganj-Chaktai, one of the biggest wholesale essentials markets, remained deserted due to frequent shutdowns enforced by the opposition parties, local businessmen said yesterday.
Khatunganj-Chaktai zone, covering a large area along the banks of the Chaktai canal and Karnaphuli river, deals with the bulk of the nation's trade in commodities for long.
“Business activities in Khatunganj plummeted to around 25 percent of the usual trade, causing losses to businesses," said Mabubul Alam, president of Khatunganj Trade and Industries Association and a wheat importer.
"Political parties have the right to call strikes, but the transport of essential commodities should be outside the scope of political programmes," he added.
“I had to suddenly store a lot of items after getting to know about the impending strikes and it was difficult for me to arrange enough cash to buy those,” said Biplob Shah, owner of Sangita Store, a retail shop of various products at Karnaphuli Market.
“Retail sales suffered much this week from strikes, as always.”
“I could not make any profit this week as frequent strikes prevented many regular buyers from coming,” said Md Idris, owner of Bacha Meah Sowdagor, importer of onion, garlic and ginger.
“Our goods imported from India come by truck everyday but the shipments could not arrive in time,” he added.
"Strikes have become a real curse for business. Businessmen cannot collect their dues from customers and are facing cash shortage," said Ahamed Rashid Amu, joint general secretary of Khatunganj Trade and Industries Association and owner of Diamond Dal Mill.
“Business is very poor compared to last week and if strikes are enforced regularly, we would not be able to bear anymore loss.”

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