Hardly any activity is seen at the otherwise busy Inland Container Terminal at Kamalapur in the capital during the March 28 shutdown. In March, Jamaat-e-Islami and the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance had enforced hartals on nine days, the same number of workdays the country had in the month. All this hurts the economy, especially the export-import sector. Photo: Anisur Rahman
A day of hartal (shutdown) causes the country’s businesses from export to retail shop a financial losses of Tk 1,600 crore (US$204.81 million), according to a survey conducted recently by a leading chamber.
The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI)-conducted survey found that the country faces 40 days of hartal on an average every year.
The survey, conducted recently among different stakeholders, also considered reports from different media outlets, according to the DCCI.
The yearly financial losses for the shutdown stands at Tk 64,000 crore, according to the survey result which was disclosed at a press briefing on ongoing political crisis and its impact on the economy in the capital Wednesday.
The shutdown affects the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 6.5 percent a year, said DCCI president A Sabur Khan.
“If no political violence happens here, we can achieve a double digit GDP growth, at 12 to 13 percent rate, instead of existing 6 to 7 percent,” he said.
The DCCI chief lamented that political demonstrations were taking place even in the commercial hub like Motijheel, halting the business activities.
The country’s GDP in 2011-12 fiscal was Tk 914,780 crore and the estimated GDP for 2012-13 fiscal is Tk 978,814 crore.
The issues that can only put impact on the GDP have been assessed in the survey, Sabur said.