The Dhaka-based Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has proposed a gradual raise in the minimum wage for readymade garment (RMG) workers in Bangladesh.
A CPD study titled “Revision of the Minimum Wage in the RMG Sector in 2013: Proposals as regards Definition, Method of Determination and the Levels” recommends that the minimum wage for an entry-level (grade 7) RMG worker be fixed at Tk 6,560, initially in the first year.
The study, conducted by Dr. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Additional Research Director at CPD, deployed three different methodologies to determine the required level of income for the entry level grade.
It found Tk 6,445 as the minimum wage that a worker should get to stay just above the poverty line. However, considering an aspirational model diet which would include nutritious food and other essential non-food items, the minimum wage should be Tk 17,800.
However, based on the pattern of workers’ current expenditure, the CPD study estimates Tk 8,200 as an acceptable minimum wage for a garment worker.
Its recommendation of Tk 6,560 as the minimum wage in the first year, which works out to around 80 percent of Tk 8,200, estimated to be an acceptable minimum wage.
The CPD recommendations have come ahead of the new wage structure to be announced by the Wage Board, constituted by the Bangladesh Government in the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building, which housed five garment factories and resulted in the death of over 1,100 people.