FBCCI runs into more trouble
General members of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) yesterday urged the government to appoint an 'administrator' to complete the biennial election of the apex trade body.
At the annual general meeting (AGM) of FBBCI yesterday, members criticised the present executive committee, saying it had totally failed to play its role in creating a business and investment friendly environment in the country.
The committee's failure has prompted the government to form the Better Business Forum, the members said arguing that the very move underestimates the stature of FBCCI as the country's apex business body.
Many members also called on the present committee to resign within the next 24 hours.
Talking to reporters after the AGM, FBCCI Director Golam Dastagir Gazi said the election should be held immediately to bring back democracy into the FBCCI.
“We have no objection if an administrator is appointed,” he said, adding that the administrator's responsibility will be to complete the election as soon as possible.
FBCCI President Mir Nasir Hossain said that after December 6, the commerce ministry would take a decision on the next step. “We are mentally prepared to leave,” he said, adding, “We do not seek any further time."
The extended tenure of the present FBCCI executive committee ends on December 6.
Syed Moazzem Hossain, president of Bangladesh Indenting Association, commented that changes in the FBCCI after the present body's tenure expires on Dec 6, will be manifold like Jan 11's political changes in the country has been.
Anwar Hossain, president of Bangladesh Jewellery Manufacturers and Exporters Association, criticised the body saying that at different seminars and discussions key FBCCI officials still referred to Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez as president of the BGMEA whereas its own arbitration committee had dropped the BGMEA voters from the FBCCI voter list on accusations that the Parvez-led committee was illegal.
He said FBCCI's words were contradictory to its own decisions.
About 350 general members, along with executive committee members, attended the AGM, presided over by FBCCI President Mir Nasir Hossain.
The apex trade body has been in trouble since BGMEA filed a case against the body for dropping five BGMEA members from the FBCCI voters' list.
The High Court has now suspended the FBCCI election till December 4.
Elections were earlier scheduled for August 4. On July 13, a Ministry of Commerce handout announced that loan defaulters, tax evaders and persons convicted of crimes, corruption and moral turpitude will not be eligible to contest the FBCCI election within five years of their conviction. FBCCI then had to hold an EGM to insert these statures into its own constitution before the next polls. To do this they sought an extension from the commerce ministry, which was granted on July 13.
Now FBCCI awaits the HC rule on its election process on Dec 4.
According to FBCCI constitution, an executive committee is elected for a two-year term and relieved after the tenure. However, if the biennial election is not held in due time because of 'Acts of God' (meaning natural disasters or the like), the executive committee can, with permission from its board, apply to the commerce ministry for an extension of it tenure to hold elections.
The constitution also holds that elections should be completed within the extended timeframe and if the executive committee fails to do so, the committee will have to be relieved at the end of the extension period.
In the past the government has intervened in the FBCCI committee twice. In 1982, the then Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industry President MA Munir was appointed administrator, while in 1989, former FBCCI president Akhteruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was appointed administrator of FBCCI.