9/11 is the term politicians utter when they would like to warn people about possible political collapse. 12/12 is may be another day that is going to be an example of collapse in the investment, industry hence in the economy. Collapses in economy in Bangladesh will not as visible as big economies like US but definitely the day is surely turning out to be a start of possible great collapse if things are not properly hold.
The share market case:
Investors will hold?
According to finance minister 33 lacs investors will hold the share market when most of the investors are investing without considering the warning of the authorities (SEC)! Even the matured financial institutes, banks were doing so; Calling money at hire rate to bag quick benefits from the market. So, it must not the craziness. Rather it is because of the imbalances in the economy. But who has taken the charge? For many days everybody is talking about bringing more stocks in the market, but even the government is not successful in that. Floating money rotating in the market easily multiplying that, so who will bother to go under mechanisms to come to that level? Economic imbalances have reached such a level while the minister at the end only expects that the responsibility will be taken by the investors themselves when they are pushed to the race of saving their money from vanishing! Such imbalanced structure must to fall and so it’s happening. 12th December’s historical index drop is not the end but is the start of future collapses. So, will we see anybody to hold the things please, or somebody will tell it is a big market of 33 lacs investors hence nothing will happen!
The RMG industry case:
Is it workers responsibility to behave?
About 35 millions workers are making the garment industry and so the country. But we are so patrician that we take so long to make decision about their legal demands. Three months negotiation (May-July) to reach to a new wage structure! Could we realize the cost of that? If we could than how we can allow this day (12/12) to come. Even though we have seen so many indications of the storm what we have done to mitigate or avoid? At the end the killing (of garment workers by police) has happened which indicates coming day’s possible rampages. RMG industry and the share market collapses in the same day and give similar message for the upcoming days and similar question for the previous days. So, who will take the charge? Labour minister and factory owner’s association leaders sit together at the day of incident. They thought their warning statement will be enough to keep the things quite!
What were the imbalances in the RMG case?
BGMEA warned that those who will not pay the raised pay will not be BGMEA members. But what they have done to take the new scale to the factories? Giving and implementing a new scale for such a large but immature industry is that easy? For the share market the imbalance was in supply of shares and liquid idle money in the economy which has been created over the years (because of lower productive investments). In the RMG’s, the raise for the workers were not balanced by giving raise for the lower mid level and lower level stuffs at the same time. The scale was not that clear to clarify things for them. As per the skill some of the existing workers were getting higher wages. They expected a pay raise to another percentage increment that has been declared by the government. For some of the workers the pay has decreased. The factory authorities were trying to implement the new scale without foreseeing the issue’s impact. Trade bodies (BGMEA, BKMEA) tacked fully escaped the extra possible festival (eid) bonuses by selecting the implementation from November but did they think about these imbalances. Now most of the garment owners can just adopt to pay the workers raise but only can promise the others (some workers & lower level staffs) expected raise from January next year. But the situation could not assure those workers well and created misunderstandings. No real effort has been taken by the trade bodies or the government to clarify the implementation imbalances. Nobody till 12th December was addressing the issues but everybody responsible was expecting a happy and calm implementation! At last labour minister promise to revise the scale in such a time when it may create more misunderstandings among the workers and the owners. Where is the support to feel by the investors and where is the solution for the workers about their life earnings?
Short term local efforts are being taken by the government and it’s alliances to tackle the situation. Some success of that approach is misguiding the authority once again. The government should understand that those efforts in the long run may bring further difficulties to the issues. We must come to sustainable long term solutions for all problems. But before that, now the time is for the responsible people to take the charge and play to avoid future major collapses. Please react quickly and effectively to save the backbone of the nation, the RMG industry. Don’t let 12/12 to be an example for the industry that 9/11 is for the politics.