Govt must obey US norms to get GSP back: Dr Yunus

June 30, 2013

Nobel Laureate Dr Mohammad Yunus, on Saturday, said the government must adhere to the US guidelines on improving work conditions, to get the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) back.
“If the necessary US conditions are fulfilled, we would get the GSP facility back. The US has suspended the GSP, as Bangladesh could not fulfil their demands for better working conditions and labour values. The rights of the workers should be protected. If we keep silent, nothing will work,” he said.
Dr Yunus, also the Grameen Bank founder, said this, while delivering his speech on ‘Social Business Youth Convention-2013′, organised jointly by Daffodil International University (DIU), Social Business Students’ Forum (SBSF), and Yunus Centre, at the DIU auditorium in the city.
Speaking about the garment sector’s rise, he said, “The apparel industry is a big sector where ordinary village workers are employed. We don’t lack creativity. The garment sector has made tremendous strides because of people’s creativity. Nobody could ever think of such a rise in this sector.”
Dr Yunus also added that Bangladesh has an edge over Singapore, due to its geographical position. “Bangladesh has more potential than Singapore and China, for its geographical position. The neighbouring countries have to take Bangladesh into account, to maintain communication. There is no other alternative,” he said. The Bay of Bengal, also, can play a significant role in expediting the wheel of progress, he added.
Replying to a question, Dr Yunus said that the old leadership has to step down and the new generation has to take the reins for the country’s development. In a message to the new generation, Dr Yunus said, “You have the maturity and capability with the use of technology. You don’t need to wait for future. You have to take the leadership right now. The old leadership has to step down.”
“There is no reason that this new leadership would be like the old one. If the old leadership continues, Bangladesh will be like old people. You (new generation) should accept the leadership, without any delay. You will suffer if you are late,” Prof. Yunus said.
Replying to a question on whether he is willing to step into a leadership position, Dr Yunus said, “I belong to the old generation. If it happens again, the same mistake will occur. Leadership has to come from the new generation.”

-With The Independent input

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