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JICA to work for safety in Bangladesh garment factories
Jul '13
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) would work for occupational safety in Bangladesh readymade garment factories, and formulate a special programme for addressing the issues related to safe working environment.
The new program would be an integrated scheme of two of the ongoing JICA’s projects—the Financial Sector Project for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (FSPDSME), an ODA loan project implemented by the Bangladesh Bank, and Capacity Development on Natural Disaster-Resistant Techniques of Construction and Retrofitting for Public Buildings in the People's Republic of Bangladesh (CNCRP), a Technical Cooperation Project implemented by the Public Works Department (PWD).
Several Bangladesh-based organizations, including the Bangladesh Bank, the PWD, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufactures and Exporters Association (BKMEA), expressed their interest to work with JICA, at a meeting held to announce an ‘Expression of Intention’ at the Bangladesh Bank.
The overall objective of the new program is to provide financial support for garment manufacturing units, which will undertake the safety assessment of the factory premises conducted by JICA experts and PWD engineers, working in the CNCRP, Bangladesh news agency BSS reported.
The team of experts and PWD engineers to carry out the safety assessment at clothing units would be lead by JICA. The team would be assisted by BGMEA and BKMEA engineers. JICA experts would also train PWD engineers on conducting safety assessments that comply with international standards.
Post-assessment, loans would be extended to the garment factories through the existing Two-Step Loan (TSL) scheme under FSPDSME for carrying out rebuilding work and installation of safety equipment in the buildings.
Addressing a press conference, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman said the new initiative is likely to soon begin on a pilot scale, with JICA’s fund contribution of Tk 1 billion.
The finance extended under the program would be a long-term loan for a period up to 15 years, including two-year grace period. However, the upper limit of loan for individual factories would be Tk 100 million.
JICA funds for retrofitting are expected to be disbursed by participating banks over a five-year period.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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