BPEF body formed: Rafikul convener, Mahfuz member secretary
Published: 12:17 PM, 8 May 2021 Updated: 12:18 PM, 8 May 2021
BPEF convener Rafikul Islam and Member Secretary M Mahfuzur Rahman
A 21-member convener committee of the Bangladesh Private Employees Forum (BPEF), a non-profit and non-political organization, has been announced with Rafikul Islam, Business Reporter of United News of Bangladesh (UNB) as convener and M Mahfuzur Rahman, First Senior Deputy Assistant Director of Walton Group as Member Secretary.
The forum is set to work in a bid to ensure the rights of the employees engaged in formal and informal sectors through a peaceful discussion with the authorities concerned. The convener committee has been announced through a webinar held around 11 am on Friday.
BPEF Convener Rafikul Islam said, “Bangladesh is a role model of south Asia owing to economic progress. The country’s private sector accounts for around 80 percent of economic development. But the employees of this sector are very pitiable situation due to negligence.”
Mentioning data of Labour Force Survey 2016-17, he said there are 6.08 crore employed labourers in Bangladesh. Of them, 85.1 percent work in the informal sector while over 1.5 crore people are in formal sector.
According to the latest data of Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies (BILS), the Covid-19 pandemic has affected about 70% of workers in the country’s six important sectors. Of them, 98% restaurant workers, 90% construction, 90% transport, 59% port, 56% RMG and 31% health workers.
“With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Bangladesh pledged to ensure no one will be left behind. So, we have to prioritize both government and private sector employees equally. It should be first priority in the budget for 2021-22,” Rafikul said, the government should take effective initiative to bring the private sectors under specific guidelines so that private sectors can boost in effective manner.
BPEF Member Secretary M Mahfuzur Rahman said there are many rules and regulations in the country but these are violated again and again due to lack of good governance. “Many companies don’t follow Labour Acts. So, the employees are forced to work over hours; many workers don’t get weekly day off, even there is no pension, gratuity, provident fund and increment benefits,” he adds.
Mentioning the data of Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), Mahfuzur Rahman said the COVID-19 pandemic has originated 2.45 crore new people to fall below the line of poverty between June, 2020 and March, 2021 and the debt burden has doubled for people living in both urban and rural areas. The phenomenon is more prevalent 59% in Urban and 44% in rural areas.
Stating dada from Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD, he also said around 62 percent of employed people lost their jobs at some point mostly in April and May 2020 when the ‘general holiday or lockdown’ was in place due to COVID-19. “The government should go in sustainable recovery process,” he urged.
The joint conveners of the forum are - Jisan Al Jubaer (BUBT), Shafikul Islam (UNB) and Ariful Islam (First Security Islami Bank Ltd).
The other members of the convener committee are- Arifur Rahman Tuhin (Desh Rupantor), Afzal Hossain (Brac Bank Ltd), Razu Arafat (Bangladesh Pratidin), Hannan Mahmud (Ajker Patrika), Kamal Hossain (Kaler Kantha), Moazzem Hossain (Standard Group), Shah Alom (Business Times), Mohiuddin Tushar (The Daily Ganomukti), Gulam Yesveer (AZM Hospital Ltd), Jahangir Alom Ansary (Daily Tribunal), Razibul Islam (Protidiner Sangbad), MD Kamruzzaman (The KOW Company), KM Shariatullah (Presentnews.net), Eliasur Rahman Farabi (Lawyer), Anamul Kabir (Modhumoti Bank Ltd), and Md Eleyas Molla (ACI Logistics Ltd).