The government has amended Trade Organisations rules for the second time in the last seven months lifting the bar on contesting executive committee election of a trade body after serving the office for two consecutive terms. According to a recent gazette notification of Commerce Ministry, the tenure of the Executive Committee of any trade body will be two or three years and the Memorandum of Association would define how many times a member of association would be eligible to contest executive committee elections. The latest amendment of Trade Organisations rules has created an opportunity for the influential business leaders for serving the office of their respective trade bodies for a longer period of time. One of the Commerce Ministry officials stated that now it would depend on the memorandum of associations to fix the number of times a person would be eligible for Contesting Executive Committee elections.

“I do not think that the amendment would empower association leaders for serving office for an indefinite period as the issue would depend on memorandum of association of respective trade body,” he said. Earlier, the government had amended Trade Organisations Rules in December 5, 2017, incorporating a new ‘Section 21KA’ in place of ‘Section 21’ in the rules that had been abolished through another amendment in 2002. The new section barred a person from contesting executive committee elections of trade bodies, such as Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), after serving the office for two consecutive terms. As per the latest amendment, regarding the Executive Committee of Federation a senior Vice-President and a Vice-President would be elected within the 48 hours of the elections of board of directors of the federation.