The commerce ministry has said the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will hold an election on 5 May as per the announced schedule.
Earlier, on Tuesday, the commerce ministry said in an order that taking the Covid-19 situation into account, trade organisations would be allowed to hold elections by 31 December this year.
After that, Bengal Group Vice Chairman Jashim Uddin, a presidential candidate in FBCCI election, met with the commerce ministry officials on Wednesday and said confusions regarding the FBCCI election may arise due to the commerce ministry's announcement.
Then, the ministry issued the new directive saying that there is no obstacle in holding the scheduled annual general meetings and elections of the trade organisations which are running the process to hold them on time following the hygiene rules.
The FBCCI has prepared a new voter list in preparation for the next elections. The number of voters of the organisation is 2,501 in the whole country including the chamber and the association groups.
If the election is held on 5 May, the voters will have go to the FBCCI office in Motijheel, Dhaka on that day, no matter what the Covid-19 situation will be at that time. Past elections have witnessed the presence of candidates and their supporters, voters and businessmen, including the drivers of their vehicles, causing huge crowds at the FBCCI office and the road in front of it.
The government has announced a lockdown from 5 April as the Covid-19 deaths and infections started increased significantly in recent days. In this context, the Election Commission has postponed the scheduled local government elections.
Meanwhile, in a separate letter to Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Fazle Kabir on Wednesday, the commerce ministry said according to the FBCCI rules, loan defaulters cannot be candidates in its elections. So, the ministry has requested the Bangladesh Bank to check if any loan defaulter is participating in the FBCCI election.