The Bangladesh Restaurant Owners Association (Broa) has urged the government to ensure a safe environment for running their businesses without interference, drives and fines by various government bodies.
At a press briefing held at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) on Tuesday, the association placed a nine-point demand which includes the call for addressing the lack of coordination between different government departments related to consumer rights and food safety.
Restaurant owners said they are very concerned about the uncoordinated drives carried out by government agencies, which is causing huge financial losses to their businesses.
Expressing fear that drives in eateries may continue during Ramadan, Broa Secretary General Imran Hasan said, “We are seeking the prime minister’s intervention. We want Broa representatives in the mobile court drives’ team of government agencies.”
“We support the prime minister’s pledge to ensure food safety throughout the country but a lack of coordination among government agencies is the biggest obstacle,” Imran Hasan said, requesting the government to bring the issue under one department with a well-defined Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to follow.
The media should play a responsible role in overcoming the crisis of the restaurant sector caused by negative publicity, Imran said.
Additionally, the association has proposed a reduction in VAT and taxes in the restaurant sector.
Imran Hasan said the gas crisis has also been a concern for the restaurant sector, as they are getting insufficient gas supply compared to their needs.
The association has called for an increase in gas supply to the restaurant sector and for the Titas Gas Authority to remove all hurdles for line transfer and name change.
Imran Hasan has also highlighted the harassment that the seasonal traders face and called for an opportunity to conduct Iftar and Sehri-related activities without any disturbance.
The Broa secretary general also expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the government for granting the status of industry to the restaurant sector, hoping that it will enjoy all the benefits of the industry, including VAT-tax, from now on.
Urging wholehearted cooperation from government agencies, the association also called upon restaurateurs to maintain the sanctity of the holy month and do restaurant business with care and awareness about hygienic or safe food.