Petrol pumps are losing business for want of regular supply and also from a sharp drop in their sale as less number of motor vehicles are venturing out on the roads and highways fearing attacks that may end up in damage or burning of the vehicles.
This is one aspect of the setback to business. On the other hand, collecting fuel from depots run by Padma, Mehgana or Jamuna Oil is also facing setback from fear of arson that the opposition activists enforcing the blockade and shutdowns may set on the delivery vehicles.
The government is deploying police and BGB to give protection to the oil tankers but the overall environment is not supportive to run free business. Even angry activists may set fuel station on fire and the opposition is blaming the government agents for violence including arson to put blame on them.
This is a highly volatile situation and business in inflammable materials is all the more difficult.
Bdnews24 adds: interruption in transportation of all kinds of fuels and the fall in sale are impacting the business as lesser number of motorists are venturing out. Retailers said they cannot collect oil from the depots regularly fearing arson.
On the other hand, sales from pumping stations have fallen to the lowest even not worthy of keeping the station open weighing the risks.
Police are guarding the pumps in the violence-prone areas but this is not enough to bring the motorists out of fear. Pumps on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, in the northern districts and in greater Sylhet are facing greater uncertainty.
Khaleque and Sons Filling Station on Dhaka-Chittagong highway collect oil regularly from Meghna Petroleum Depot in Chandpur, but it is really difficult to guard the tankers all the way on long distance. Such is the case with many others.
Only a limited supply is coming to stations braving the odds. .
Caption: Petrol pump owners in Bangladesh are facing mounting losses in the last two weeks due to the BNP sponsored transport blockade.
Leaders of the country’s poultry industry decried of their losses from prolonged blockades and shutdowns which are in turn resulting in hindrance of movement of supply vehicles and destroying of chicks and eggs.
The industry leaders at a press beefing on Monday last at Reporters’ Unity in the city highlighted their plight and urged the government to provide them special security for moving their vehicles and save them from arson.
Convener of Bangladesh Poultry Industries Coordination Committee (BPICC) Moshiur Rahman; which is the apex body of seven associations in the poultry sector told the reporters that the industry has already lost over Tk 256 crore over the past 12 days from business loss and they fear prolonged blockade and shutdowns may push the losses at higher level.
He said the industry lost over Tk 4.5 thousand crore over the past 15 months that included loss from last year blockades and shutdowns and they don’t know where lies the end this year.
The BPICC leaders also demanded incentives for poultry farmers to overcome the lossess and urged the government to take steps in this regard.
“The industry is passing a very difficult time. Our supply vehicles are coming under attacks from anti-government protesters, Trucks, Lorries and covered vans, which transport eggs, chicks, poultry feed, medicines and other poultry-related raw materials can’t move now in fear of damage and arson,” Rahman urging the government to end the crisis.
The industry is based on tight supply chain. Since this supply chain is facing disruption now, production of day-old chicks, eggs and broiler chicken which are put to market on daily basis, are facing the major setback.
Chicks and eggs have to be transported on the same day, as the farms lack storage and preservation facilities and the hang over pushes the production cost to a level beyond financial sustained calculus.
“So, we have no other option but to kill the day-old chicks and destroy the eggs if we cannot send them out on the day,” Rahman said. He said blockades are forcing poultry farmers to destroy around 22 lakh day-old chicks every week. The loss is enormous and it is taking the industry to the brink.
“We are losing our investment everyday,” President of Breeders’ Association of Bangladesh Fazle Rahim Khan Shahriar said, In the last two weeks, about 30 percent of eggs and chickens remained unsold, he said poising the question “If we can’t do business, how will we be able to repay bank loans?”
Shahriar urged all political parties to keep transport vehicles loaded with eggs, chicken, day-old chicks, feed, vaccine and other raw materials beyond the purview of shutdowns and blockades.
Secretary General of Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association MM Khan held the view that the industry incurred a loss of around Tk 47 crore in the last two weeks from unsold eggs as around 8.5 crore eggs remained in the stock due to transportation problem.
In the period, the industry incurred a loss of around Tk 79 crore from unsold chicken and Tk 35 crore from failing to put day-old chicks to broilers. He said about 7,000 tonnes of meat and 99 lakh chicks were destroyed.
In the period, the feed industry recorded losses of Tk 73 crore. Poultry medicine industry suffered a loss of Tk 20 crore. Meanwhile transport costs soared as truckers demand exorbitantly higher rates to carry raw materials.
China’s annual GDP growth slowed to its weakest rate in more than two decades in 2014, according to an AFP survey, projecting further deceleration in the world’s second-largest economy this year.
The median forecast in a poll of 15 economists saw the Asian giant’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanding 7.3 percent last year, down from 7.7 percent in 2013.
That would be the worst full-year result since the 3.8 percent recorded in 1990 — the year after the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) releases the official GDP figures for the fourth quarter and the whole of 2014 on Tuesday.
For this year, the economists see growth slowing further to a median 7.0 percent, as Chinese leaders proclaim a “new normal” of slower expansion and emphasise economic reforms.
“China may introduce many restructuring and reform measures this year and this may have some negative impact on economic growth,” ANZ economist Liu Li-Gang told AFP..
The business leaders in the port city have urged the political parties to keep all economic activities, especially the goods transportation to and from the port by highway out of the purview of hartals and blockades.
The suggestion was as part of a nine-point proposal presented by president of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mahbubul Alam at a meeting at the chamber’s office in the city.
He said different business sectors have so far incurred losses of around Tk 17,000 crore in the first 15 days of blockade quoting the estimates as coming from different media reports.
“If the situation persists, it would take years to recover from the losses,” he argued.
The chamber leaders suggested keeping the government offices open on week-end holidays and forming of special taskforces to keep the ports and customs running business during hartals and blockades.
They also called for deploying special forces and members of intelligence agencies to keep the highways, including the Dhaka-Chittagong highway safe from arsonists. They said the government should give tough punishment for such violence.
On top of it, the chamber leaders urged the political parties to find alternatives to hartals and bring an end to the current deadlock and the political crisis which is choking the economy.
Chittagong Metropolitan Police Commissioner Abdul Jalil Mandal, Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Mesbah Uddin and Chittagong Police Super AKM Hafiz Akther were also present.
Chinese company Mis. Shanzhou (Bangladesh) Packing Ltd will invest US$3.34 million to set up a packing materials manufacturing plant at Uttara Export Processing Zone.
Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) and Mis. Shanzhou (Bangladesh) Packing Ltd in Dhaka signed an agreement to this effect on January 15 at BEPZA Complex in the city.
The industry will be a fully foreign owned company with an annual production capacity of 5 million square meter paper carton, 500 ton Blister, 2 million square meter sellotape, 2 million pcs color box. It will employ 915 Bangladeshi nationals, said a press release.
Member (Investment Promotion) of BEPZA Sayed Nurul Islam and General Manager of Mis. Shanzhou (Bangladesh) Packing Ltd Zhai Hai Peng signed the agreement for their respective organizations.
Executive Chairman of BEPZA Major General Mohd. Habibur Rahman Khan, and other senior executives of the regulatory body were present on the signing ceremony of the agreement.
The 11th death anniversary of Mirza Mehdy Ispahani was held at Mirza Ahmed Ispahani High School with recitation from the Holy Quran and holding a Dua Mahfil and offering of prayers on January 20. He was a renowned industrialist, education enthusiast and the founder of this School and chairman of M. M. Ispahani Limited.
The Headmaster of the school S.M. Mojibur Rahman presided over the meeting. The school management distributed Tobaruk among the students and others on the occasion, said a press release.