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TIB condemns business leaders’ demand to stop anti-pollution drive Calls upon Government not to give in

TIB condemns business leaders’ demand to stop anti-pollution drive Calls upon Government not to give in

Dhaka, Friday, June 15, 2012. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) strongly condemned the illegitimate, irresponsible and immoral demand from a section of business leaders to stop anti-pollution drives. TIB called upon the Government, particularly Department of Environment (DoE), to refrain from giving in, and instead ensure stringent enforcement of the law against pollution.

In a statement, Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of TIB said, “it is extremely deplorable and ridiculous that a section of business leaders raised such illegal, irresponsible and unethical demand so shamelessly in public. We call upon the Minister for Forest and Environment as well as the DoE officials to absolutely ignore such demands and redouble efforts and capacity to enforce the relevant laws, rules and regulations without fear or favour. Any failure to bring law-breakers like polluters to justice will not only promote a culture of impunity but lead to total destruction of whatever prospect of sustainable life and livelihood remains in the country”.

Bangladesh is already ranked as one of the worst victims of environmental degradation and climate change. Bangladesh has succeeded in drawing the attention of the global community for support to national efforts to face the enormous challenges. However, if the Government yields to illegitimate demands of powerful business people in steel mills, re-rolling mills, plastic factories and brickfields uniting in the banner of FBCCI, Bangladesh will not only ignore the key prerequisites of ethical and sustainable business, but also lose faith of the international community about our commitment to control pollution of our own environment, particularly the river and water resources. The statement said.

“If the DoE officials or for that matter anyone else involved in enforcement misbehave or demand toll, they must also be brought to justice, but that can never justify the demand that anti-pollution drive be stopped”, Iftekharuzzaman said.

He further said that it was deceitful to claim loss of business and employment due to pollution control. The reality is just the opposite – business will flourish further, economy will grow faster and more sustainably, generating higher income and employment if anti-pollution standards are met. We call upon our business leaders to be more ethical in business and shun the culture of short-term profiteering at the expense of future sustainability of life and living in the country, the statement added.

It may be recalled that at a meeting on June 14, Thursday, organized by FBCCI a section of business leader in steel mills, re-rolling mills, plastic factories and brickfields demanded that the government should stop anti-pollution drives so that they can continue their activities without any hindrance. The Environment and Forest Minister and DoE officials were present at the meeting.

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