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Bangladesh govt panel starts inspecting garment units
May '13
A high-powered Government committee headed by the Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui has inspected health and safety and work conditions at three readymade garment manufacturing units in Ashulia, a suburban area near the country’s capital Dhaka.
Inspection at the three factories, namely Ananta Group, Ha-Meem Group and Knit Asia, formed a part of a drive launched with an intention to inspect a minimum 100 garment factories by next week, The Daily Star reported.
The inspection check includes a probe into the condition of the factory premises, compliance with approved designs, presence of emergency exits and fire-fire mechanism and the actual number of machines installed against the floor size of the factory.
Members of the high-level committee also talked to the workers regarding their pay, leadership, allowances, and also their relations with their employers, so as to ascertain the compliance with International Labour Organization (ILO) standards.
During a briefing at his official residence Mr. Siddiqui said the factories inspected were found to be quite compliant, and the owners of these factories also assured that they observe the local norms properly. However, they accepted that they still lag behind in meeting ILO standards, the Minister added.
Mr. Siddiqui said there were sufficient numbers of exit staircases in two factories, but all of them met at the ground level and the final point of exit from the building remains one. Also, the staircases are not wide enough to provide sufficient space for even two people to escape during an emergency.
The Government will order closure of the factories, where the panel is not satisfied with the health and safety conditions, he added.
Constituted after the Rana Plaza collapse incident, where over 600 workers lost their lives, leaving thousand others injured, the panel also aims at carrying out a probe into the construction flaws at garment factories and suggest ways to correct them. 
The panel would present its report to the Prime Minister within three months of beginning the probe.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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