President of the Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, Helal Uddin, expressed the unanimous desire of all businessmen for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to be reelected.
"We expect the upcoming national general election to be fair and free under your leadership. We all want you to be the prime minister again," he said.
Helal said, "As far as I can recall, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, you took charge of the Bangladesh Awami League upon your return home on May 17, 1981. At that time, due to government restrictions, you used to hold discussion meetings at the Eden Hotel in Motijheel in the capital during 1981–82. Approximately 150–200 leaders and activists of the AL participated in these meetings. I served as a vice president (VP) of a college, and along with 10-15 others, I stood by your side."
He said, "Sheikh Hasina, you are the longest-serving Prime Minister in the history of our country. You hold a place of pride as one of the ten greatest statesmen in the world. Your remarkable efforts have elevated Bangladesh to a position of significance in the Indo-Pacific region, making you the most influential person there."
Helal highlighted that both Russia and China have placed their trust in the Prime Minister. Delegations from the European Union and the US, including Under Secretary Uzra Zeya, have expressed their support for the decisions to be made by Sheikh Hasina.
The business leader urged the Prime Minister to assign her Private Industry and Investment Adviser, Salman F Rahman, and the President of FBCCI, Jasim Uddin, to organize business summits in all 64 districts. The aim of these summits would be to educate the public about the development initiatives undertaken by the current government.
"The world is watching your development, and world leaders are engaging with you. However, do ordinary people know about this?" said expressed the president of the association.
Recognizing the Prime Minister as the guardian of small and very small businesses, he recalled her support for 333 traders whose shops were destroyed by Hefazat-e-Islam on May 5, 2013.
Addressing the challenges faced by people due to the rising prices of essential commodities, the leader appealed to the Prime Minister to address the issue.
"The Commerce Minister and the Secretary of the Ministry have been attempting to control the price hike, but unfortunately, due to different products falling under different ministries, their efforts have yielded no results. We kindly request that you consider establishing a separate ministry solely dedicated to handling essential commodities or entrusting one ministry with the responsibility," he stated.
Helal also emphasised the significant role played by the Prime Minister in supporting small traders by allowing them to operate their businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.