Hartal, blockade battering economy

Published : 30 Nov 2023 07:36 PM

Country’s estimated loss to the economy stands at over Taka 1, 17000 crore from the 18 days alone caused by BNP enforced ongoing nationwide hartal and blockade programmes, according to media reports.   

The Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war have already pushed our economy into a crisis. And BNPs ongoing political programmes like blockade and hartal have added salts to the wounds, affecting people’s livelihood badly across the country.

The small traders, day labourers, and SMEs are bearing the brunt of the hartals and blockades. The supply chain is in a shambles, hurting both importers and exporters at an already critical economic period. 

According the country’s apex trade body Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, political unrest like blockade and hartal costs Tk6500cr a day. The business community urged the political parties to protect the domestic economy and reduce the suffering of the people. 

They also called for the avoidance of any intolerant political programmes like strikes and blockade that harm the economy. The Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have had a long-term negative impact on the global economy. 

The small traders, day

 labourers, and SMEs are 

bearing the brunt of the 

hartals and blockades

It has also affected the economy of Bangladesh. After tackling these odds, the government’s bold action has brought the country’s economy back on track. People from various professions returned to their respective workplaces while schoolchildren and university students are back in class physically. As all factories, industries, mills, offices, hotels, motels, restaurants, tourist spots, shopping malls and all other business activities are running now in full, country sees strong economic growth.  But the latest political event like blockades hartal in the country are pushing the national economy towards more hurdles. Economists have sounded the alarm that if this destructive political events are not stopped immediately, they could lead to deepen the financial hardship further.

People especially the low income group and the poor are bearing the brunt. But when the economy has started turning around, BNP’s hartal, blockades and violence are compounding the problem for them.

The strike or blockade called by different political parties is severely disrupting the supply chain. This is already having an impact on the market price of the products and also on exports.

Moreover, hartal, blockade programme will send negative message about Bangladesh abroad. As a result, foreigners will lose interest in investing in Bangladesh. 

Not only that, if the political unrest continues, the amount of defaulted loans will increase and employment opportunities will be blocked.