BNP to appeal to USA against GSP suspension

June 30, 2013

BNP will appeal to the US government, to lift the suspension of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facility for Bangladesh. BNP’s acting secretary-general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, said this to reporters, at the party’s Naya Paltan central office, here on Saturday. Alamgir also criticised information minister Hasanul Haq Inu, for holding opposition leader Khaleda Zia responsible for the setback. “Our party chief never wrote any letter to the Barack Obama administration, in this regard. The information minister is spreading canards against Khaleda Zia,” he said.
Alamgir alleged that Awami League had a history of writing letters to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, advising them against extending financial aid to Bangladesh.
Speaking to reporters at Bogra Circuit House on Friday, Inu had alleged that Khaleda Zia had written a letter to the US government, and this is how she prompted Washington to suspend the trade benefit for Bangladesh.
Rejecting Inu’s allegation, Alamgir said US ambassador Dan W Mozena has made it clear that the GSP facility was revoked because of concerns on workers’ safety in Bangladesh.
“In the wake of the horrific mishaps in Bangladesh, such as, the Savar Rana Plaza building collapse and the blaze at Ashulia Tajrin Fashion, that killed thousands of garment workers, the Obama administration has decided to suspend the country’s GSP facility,” Alamgir quoted Mozena as saying.
“The government has failed to ensure GSP facility for garment products in the US market. Now, it has no alternative but to hold the opposition party responsible for this debacle,” he added. The BNP leader said his party has started working on the content of the letter to the US government, urging it to withdraw its decision.
BNP leaders Aminul Haque, Iqubal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, Mizanur Rahman Minu, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed, newly elected mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation, Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, and others, were present at the press briefing.
In a separate programme, Alamgir accused the government of corruption and plunging the country into an economic crisis.
He said the budget for the next fiscal year will not be beneficial for the people, as “the Awami League will plunder everything”. He added that it was not possible to implement the election-oriented budget, placed by the government in Parliament.
Alamgir was addressing a discussion on the next budget, organised by MBA Association of Bangladesh, at the Diploma Engineers’ Institute of Bangladesh, here on Saturday afternoon.
“Political structure is needed to implement a national budget so that allocated funds can reach the stakeholders. But, a framework in this regard is totally absent in the budget,” he added.
The World Bank has withdrawn its funding to the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project and the US government has suspended GSP facility for Bangladesh, due to the government’s failures, he said.
The government has failed to create new markets abroad, for Bangladeshi workers. Expatriates are being forced to return home, after being rendered jobless, but the government failed to do anything during its four-and-a-half-year rule, he alleged.
The country has turned into a dysfunctional state, due to the Awami League’s politics of vengeance, he said.

-With The Independent input

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