Businesses have urged the government to postpone its decision till the Eid-ul-Azha to shut down the shopping malls, markets, stores and kitchen markets after 8 pm.
At the standing committee meeting of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on local garments at FBCCI Icon on Saturday, they said businesses are trying to recover from Covid-induced economic losses and the market closure after 8pm will impede the economic recovery.
FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu said traders had to count huge losses due to poor sales during a number of festivals including Eids and New Year celebrations in the last two years of Covid-19 pandemic. The traders' efforts to turn around will be hampered if shops close after 8 pm.
"The office goers prefer to visit malls after evening; therefore, the instruction will discourage them to shop, which would put small and medium entrepreneurs into further loss," he added.
The standing committee members called for setting up a hub for garment manufacturers who meet the local demand for clothing.
They said garment manufacturers have to procure raw materials from different places and re-package and sell them in the wholesale market which accumulates a huge cost.
A dedicated garment hub will ease the business process and reduce the cost and also facilitate buyers to afford clothing at a cheaper price, said the traders
The Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI), at a press conference held on the same day in the capital's Motijheel area, echoed the same. They said small and medium entrepreneurs would suffer if businesses were closed after 8 pm.
FBCCI director Abu Motaleb demanded an end to the harassment of traders by revenue officials.
Alauddin Malik, president of Bangladesh Avhantarin Poshak Prostutkarak Malik Samity, presided over the meeting.