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The Financial Express

Business leaders for task force to oversee measures

FE REPORT | Published: April 09, 2020 10:04:06 | Updated: April 14, 2020 20:02:44


The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, which was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, US on January 29, 2020 — Via Reuters The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, which was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, US on January 29, 2020 — Via Reuters

The country's business leaders underscored the need for forming a task force to implement different measures the government had taken to overcome the losses caused by COVID-19 outbreak.

They said the government has already taken some medium to long-term measures to carry on the economic activities during and after the pandemic, according to a statement by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka, or MCCI.

A task force is required to execute all the initiatives properly and swiftly, the statement said.

Keeping its trust in different initiatives taken by the government, the chamber expressed its concern over non-compliance of social distancing during countrywide lockdown to check spread of the virus.

The business leaders came up with the observations and remarks at a video-conference on Tuesday, chaired by Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment advisor to the Prime Minister.

Executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority Sirajul Islam, MCCI President Nihad Kabir, Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rupali Chowdhury, MCCI vice president Anis A Khan, former president Syed Nasim Manzur, founder chairman of Business Initiative Leading Development and chairman of Chittagong Stock Exchange Asif Ibrahim, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Naser Ezaz Bijoy, Bangladesh Employers Federation Secretary General Farooq Ahmed, among others, attended the digital meeting.

BIDA initiated the meeting with business leaders to integrate business community and seek assistance from them in the ongoing government measures to prevent COVID-19.

According to the press statement, the business leaders praised the initiatives taken by the government.

As the pandemic is new to Bangladesh, the government needs to issue various circulars in a hurry.

The business leaders requested the government to consult with business community, if possible, even over phone, before taking any measure and issue circulars so that the government can avoid errors.

BIDA sought written proposals from the business community for the unfolding situation.

The MCCI and the Employers' Federation said they would extend necessary support to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina if she needs to take tougher steps to check the pandemic and ensure health security.

The business leaders agreed with the advisor on the ground that fighting COVID-19 is the first priority of the government now.

They said the country's economy will progress further once the pandemic is over.

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